Laguna Niguel, CA Real Estate News

By Michael A. Caruso
(Surterre Properties)
I was just informed today by a friend of mine who is moving in the near future, that there is a category on Craigslist called "Free Stuff."  Here, she was able to find 30 free boxes for her move, which will significantly decrease the money she will have to pay to purchase them for her move. Since we as Realtors encounter people moving in and out all the time, either looking to obtain or get rid of boxes, I thought this would be a good piece of information to pass on! Have a great day! Thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection. Best regards. Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GRI 2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors
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By Michael A. Caruso
(Surterre Properties)
CNN reported today that Hillary Clinton said, "America cannot solve the most pressing problems on our own, and the world cannot solve them without America."   With the current economic situation, I believe the Active Rain community members will have strong opinions on this quote.    For years, people have had different views on this subject, and we'd like to hear from you....   Do we help America or other countries first? What do you think the possible benefits/drawbacks will be of making that decision?   Thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection. Best regards. Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GRI 2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors
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By Michael A. Caruso
(Surterre Properties)
With three non-fatal and one fatal attack since last December, Australian beach-goers are now considering themselves at risk.   While previous statistics showed that surfers/swimmers were more likely to be struck by lightning, four incidents within a less than one month period prove otherwise.   Some locals complain that current Australian governmental laws to protect sharks are to blame for the increase in attacks (which were previously recorded to average one attack per year).   What do you think is best? Preserving laws that protect shark populations in the water or protect swimmers and surfers?
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By Michael A. Caruso
(Surterre Properties)
I read an email today written by a member of the staff at the Ocean Conservatory group.  While many have advice for what important choices they feel Obama should make once he is in office, few have expressed concern with his diet. Activists at the Ocean Conservatory have sent out emails to their subscribers to vote on which recipes they should send to the White House in order to raise awarness of choosing "good fish" from the ocean. The choices include: Florida Pink Shrimp Chinook Salmon Atlantic Haddock Bigeye Tuna Red Snapper Do you think that this is a little too much? We'd love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection. Best regards. Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GRI 2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors
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By Michael A. Caruso
(Surterre Properties)
Orange County residents have reported to have a harder time finding homes for rent that will allow their pets these days.  The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recently suggested creating a resume for their animals when submitting applications to rent: Provide the name, age, personality, size and breed. Including a photo may also be helpful. Give examples of how your pet will be cared for while you are away from home Let the landlord or management company know how you will clean up after your pet and attend to any vaccination or pest-control needs Tell a positive fact/story about your pet that presents them as a good "tenant" Attach letters from past neighbors and or veterinarians that can vouch for the good disposition and medical history of your pet. Do y...
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By Michael A. Caruso
(Surterre Properties)
The federal government has recently labeled the beluga whales in Alaska's Cook Inlet protected under the Endangered Species Act. Although the beluga whales in this location have been part of a ten year recovery program, their species keeps failing to repopulate.  While there are five beluga whale populations in Alaska, the Cook's Inlet population is the only one considered by the federal government to be endangered. The issue, it seems is oil and gas exploration in the Cook Inlet, due to an estimated $1.3 billion dollars worth of energy resources.  Now that the species has been identified as endangered, researchers will now begin the difficult process of identifying how to recover the species in the very near future. With many concerned with the price of gasoline, how should we continue...
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By Michael A. Caruso
(Surterre Properties)
Many people are have set a New Year's resolution to cut back on spending in 2009. Here are some helpful ways to enjoy yourself in the New Year without making a dent in your pocketbook:   Cut back on eating out. Cooking at home is not only a less expensive option, but it is often healthier! When shopping for home-cooked meal supplies, select store brand items rather than name brands. As old-fashioned as it may seem, clip coupons from newspapers and advertisements. Sign up for store club cards as well. Buy in bulk. If you're afraid of food spoiling, why not freeze what you will not eat before the expiration date for later use? Scale back on vacations. Rather than elaborate getaways, consider package deals or utilize accumulated airline miles.   What New Year's resolutions did you make thi...
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By Michael A. Caruso
(Surterre Properties)
OK, life isn't that unfair, is it? I'm saying that 2008 was bad but it can't be all bad...there had to be some great stuff that happened.  Whatever your definition of a "great thing happened"...please send it in - babies born, surprise visitors, scholarships, graduates, weddings, new boat, new car, a vacation, a concert, anything.  Think about the thing(s) that made you smile - and share it with us all. Surely it will cheer everyone up, and set a great tone to start the new year. And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection. Best regards. Michael Caruso, broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GRI 2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors
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By Michael A. Caruso
(Surterre Properties)
I was happy (and somewhat surprised) to see the stock market enjoy "up days" on December 30th and 31st.  That was a long overdue, and quite late but quite welcome little rally.  And I wondered what would happen on the first trading day of the new year... I tuned in to the financial news as I attended to my email, web site and Active Rain this morning... Much to my surprise and delight the year on Wall Street started off in a very upbeat manner. I think the stock market has just as much affect on the consumer sentiment as real estate, if not more. Which do you feel affects people more?  Stock reports or Real Estate reports? Please send in your opinion. And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection. best regards. Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GRI 2007 Pre...
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By Nancy & Heather Cloward
(Surterre Properties)
Looking Back on 2008 Marina Hills Market Update for 01/01/2008 to 12/30/2008 Status Address Plan BR/BA SQFT Price Closed                     Marina Hills Palacio           Active 9 Phaedra A 4/3 2,667 $1,195,000   Active 4 Nicosia D 4/4 3,580 $1,425,000   SOLD 12 Nicosia C 4/4 3,531 $1,475,000 8/1/2008               Marina Hills Heights           SOLD 5 Pilos A 4/3 3,300 $1,199,000 8/6/2008 SOLD 16 Tunis C 4/3 3,380 $955,000 8/25/2008 SOLD 10 Tunis B 4/3 3,000 $950,000 12/1/2008 Pending 20 Denia C 4/3 3,500                   Marina Hills Cabo Del Mar         Active 18 Mikro D 4/3 2,536 $1,245,000                 Marina Hills Vistara           Active 12 Argos A 5/3 3,000 $949,500   SOLD 25 Brindisi D 5/4.5 3,514 $1,325,000 1/18/2008 SOLD 15 Via Di Nola B 4/4 3,060 $940,000 5/22/2008 SOLD...
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By Nancy & Heather Cloward
(Surterre Properties)
  Welcome to Laguna Niguel Imagine waking up to panoramic views of rolling hills and greenery just outside your door. Imagine waking up in a Laguna Niguel home. Laguna Niguel is a master planned community nestled in the rolling hills of southern Orange County bordered by Mission Viejo, San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point, Laguna Beach and Laguna Hills. Laguna Niguel California homes are one of the newest communities to Orange County. Laguna Niguel CA real estate includes both new and resale homes, apartments and town homes as well as single-family detached homes, semi-custom homes and large, estate-size custom lots.   Laguna Niguel's community amenities include two schools, child care centers, places of worship, a business center, village club facilities, a County of Orange Sports park, plu...
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By Sean Wohland
(Sunwest Bank)
Rates in in the high 4's an low 5's. It is a great time to refinance and an amazing time to purchase a home. If you have any questions, I am here to help!
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By Michael A. Caruso
(Surterre Properties)
Most people will remember when a place of worship was a center point in a community.  The church (regardless of denomination) was a focal point and a base of support and financial assistance for those in need.  A church was a gathering place and a collection center to provide a means for good will toward less fortunate... Then came the advent of 'Black Friday'  -  fancy lingo for after holiday sales...and sales gimmicks after and before the holidays.  The commercialism crept into our lives and perhaps diminished the true meaning of holiday spirit. In this tough economy, people may be returning to their church, their community and seeking help or seeking to help the church in assisting less fortunate.  Fact is, most of our population is less fortunate that in decades past. So, in a way....
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By Michael A. Caruso
(Surterre Properties)
The size of compensation packages for athletes has always been a sore point for me. This last week had some whopper contracts dealt out...$180 million here and $160 million there... to go out and play some baseball for a few years (I think the contracts ran 6 or 8 years). This particularly annoys me when people are struggling and slipping into a financial tailspin that a meager portion of these big league contracts could solve. Here is another point...and I am totally serious here.  If you had no bills to worry about, no school to attend and no job to go to... and I gave you a full time trainer and you worked out every day (OK, you can rest at times with a day or two off) and all you did was train at a particular position in a particular sport I challenge anyone to tell me differently ...
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By Michael A. Caruso
(Surterre Properties)
The divorce rate is down.  The reason should be no surprise....it's expensive. Think about retainers and monthly billing from attorneys.  Then think about moving out and adding another lease payment to already mounting expenses.  What about liquidating assets and a home that has lost most of its value? Bottom line here is that middle class couples who just can't get along any more cannot afford a divorce because of the legal fees, a complicated economy and the resulting economic fallout. Oh yes...you guessed it - the wealthy tend to file for divorce regardless of the state of the economy.  And the very poor still can because they can't afford legal representation.  But I guess people can represent themselves in court?  That would be like watching Judge Judy on TV... I hope couples can ...
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By Michael A. Caruso
(Surterre Properties)
We've all done some frivolous things but if you want to get a great conversation going at your next party just mention the words "frivolous lawsuits".  It's sure to create a buzz.  What are frivolous lawsuits?  Well, frivolousness is really in the eye of the beholder - like wine, beauty, best coffee or best pizza for that matter. Most of us might define a frivolous lawsuit as something intended to make money or make a point...or both!  They are however a problem and they cost everyone money.  Let's recall just a few that hit headlines in recent years: hot coffee at MacDonald's got a lot of attention, a parent filing vs. a school district because a son injured an elbow from landing on the gym floor rather than the mat during a wrestling tournament, a big gambler vs. Hilton and Mandalay ...
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By Michael A. Caruso
(Surterre Properties)
   I like food and I try to eat healthy.  We all get off track around the holiday season, but for the most part healthy is the word.  So I appreciate when foods are marked "use by this date" or "best if consumed by this date".  You know, the language that tells you you're in the safe zone. I also like to give gift cards and I like to receive them.  But here is a "use by this date" that I don't really like at all.  In fact, it rings a little like a scam.  Did you know that if you receive a gift card you must use it within a certain time frame?  If you don't, the card starts dinking you an amount each month until they whittle away the entire amount on the gift card.  I think if I buy a gift card for someone, it's up to them as to when they use it...and the advantage for the card purveyor ...
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By Michael A. Caruso
(Surterre Properties)
   I know the importance of working smarter and harder not only in the current market environment but as a constant work ethic. That's why I just fry to see CEO's getting fired with a 'golden parachute' severance package that would be the 'lottery' for 99.99% of Americans.  Take a look at financial news to note the CEO's who have been fired this year with $millions of dollars in severance and stock options. Hello????  There is no margin for error in my business...not even the slightest.  And ethics and integrity are just as important as accuracy. So, please help me understand how executives can get paid huge bucks to screw up, then get fired with more $millions in severance and stock than most Americans make in 10 lifetimes? Can you feel me???  Please email your comments. And thank you ...
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By Michael A. Caruso
(Surterre Properties)
   Today, oil prices, mortgage rates and gold prices jumped... and stocks plummeted. So much for the Santa Claus rally that Wall Street was waiting for.  And we really didn't need more angst on Wall Street...after all, our banking institutions are taking care of that all by themselves. But this does again demonstrate that our world is tied more closely together than at any time in history.  Let's consider immediate concerns for any Americans in that area and what about our troops?  After all, Pakistan is in Al Quida's back yard and what if they go after the Nukes that Pakistan has...and they do have them.  Let's hope those weapons are secure.  Does this mean that we'll be sending our soldiers there?  There are only a few hundred of our soldiers in Pakistan at the present time.  There is...
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By Michael A. Caruso
(Surterre Properties)
A major asset management company in Orange County is being very aggressive in buying homebuilder stocks.  You may be asking 'why'? at a time when these stocks are so out of favor and beaten down.  Perhaps there is a pearl of wisdom here.  Most great investors look out 3 - 5 years for their time line.  In a scenario like that, a stock that is 70% off it's highs becomes a substantial value. Eventually demographic trends alone are enough to turn around the real estate economy.  So there is the pearl.  Home buyers should be thinking exactly the same thing.  Consider a purchase when something is out of favor or beaten down and you stand to earn a tidy return on your investment in a realtively short 3 - 5 year time line. Along the way you enjoy the benefits of homeownership: tax benefits and...
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