OC-Appraisals Ca Real Estate News

?OC-Appraisals, Orange Co, Ca Residential Appraiser
               February 2019  Monthly Newsletter
Conversation with an Anxious Seller
           What can we expect in 2019?              
(714) 328-3115

I received a call last week from an anxious Seller.....
Can you do an Appraisal...
Can you provide me a "Value" in the next "Hour" or "Day"?
My first question is always, "Why do you want/need an appraisal?"
This helps me understand the "Scope of my Work" and the  "options I can offer" them.
Legal, Pre-sale, Personal, Date of Death, Divorce, IRS, Finance...etc.

This Caller went on to explain the property was listed, had a Great Open House last weekend, did not receive any offers and had already reduced the list price in the first 15 days.
This Caller went on to explain that they did not "want to miss" the "Early Spring buying Season" and that they had a "Price they wanted" and did not want to "Chase the Market" and that they "Needed a Solid Offer by a specific date".
Then the Caller, went on to ask.... is this still a "Sellers Market?"
Are values still on the rise? 
Why did I not get an offer(s) at my first open house?
Trying to calm the Caller, I explained that it was "Early" in the 2019 season, the Market had a decline in sales volume over the last 2 years, and some markets had "Softened" depending on the product, location, improvements and value range, days on the market were longer, if not priced properly in the market and that "All Offers should be considered".

I realized that I was listening to what Realtors go through  - anyone have some chocolate or bottle of Wine?

The Caller then told me that what I shared with them, they had heard from the other realtors and advisors they had talked with.... just wanted another opinion!!! 
 I just hope the Caller, did not hang up and call someone else.

I told the Caller to  follow the advise of their Agent. 
Good Agents know how to properly market the home, to being in the prospective buyer pool and price the home for the current market.

As an Appraiser - when I call on the listing agent or the buyers agent to ask about the seller or buyers motivation, this conversation has important value.
Did the seller set the original price slightly above market value.
Did the seller have unrealistic expectations on an offer and be in escrow within 30 days?
Why did the seller want or need to sell?
The Seller and Buyer Motivations, Terms, Concessions are important factors that Appraisers consider, and want to be told about.
Another Question I like to ask is :  Could you resale this property in 3-6 months at the same price and days on the market?

New Year New Market 2019 

I ran a quick search in the MLS: for the "South Orange Co Area"
 February 4, 2019
N: I-133 Toll Rd.  E:Cleveland National Forest.  S: San Clemente
W: Laguna Beach

Jan 2019   SFR Closed  Sales: 273
$440,000 - $4,387,500   Avg: $1,040,901
Sf Ft Range: 595-10,000 sf  Avg: 2,340
Yr Built: 1900 - 2018  Avg: 1984
Lot Size Data had errors and was not reliable.
Dom: 0-391  Avg: 62

Jan 2018 SFR Closed Sales: 296
$415,000 - $12,900,000   Avg: $1,107,651
Sf Ft Range: 826-8,000 sf  Avg: 2,435
Yr Built: 1936 - 2018  Avg: 1986
Lot Size: 1,250sf - 3.5 ac  Avg: 8,125 sf
Dom: 0-475  Avg: 58

MLS Data as of February 4, 2019
SFR (Att & Det)  Active Listings:  1,335 
 (approximately 5 months of listings inventory based on the number of sales in Jan 2019)

List Price Range: $413,900 - $44,000,000  Avg: $2,006,976 
Sf range: 500 - 14,147  Avg: 3,086 sf
Dom: 0 - 1,019  Avg: 93
Yr Built: 1906 - 2020  Avg: 1990
7 listings under $499,000
130 under $699,999
168 under $799,999
127 under $899,999
83 Under $999,999
202 between  $1,000,000 - $1,299,999
211 between  $1,300,000 - $1,699,999
89 between    $1,700,000 - $1,999,999
234 between  $2,000,000 - $3,999,999
84 between   $4,000,000 - $9,999,999

SFR (Att & Det)  Under Contract and Pending: 463
Price Range: $439,000 - $9,995,999   Avg: $1,279,000
SF range: 724 - 7,639  Avg: 2,642 sf
Built: 1922 - 2019  Avg: 1990
DOM: 0 - 702  Avg: 89
17 between $439,900 - $599,999
51 under $699,999
89 under $799,999
69 under $899,999
42 under $999,999
55 between  $1,000,000 - $1,299,999
71 between  $1,300,000 - $1,999,999
 48 between  $2,000,000 - $2,999,999
18 between  $3,000,000 - $4,999,999
3 between  $6,495,999 - $9,995999

Increase in Under Contract/Pending compared to the number of sales that closed in January 2019
It's always important to look at all the  numbers:  active, under contract/pending, sales and the canceled/expired/withdrawn

February 2018: 306 Closed Sales
Price Range: $489,000 - $12,000,000  Avg: $1,155,886
SF: 969 - 9,218 sf  Avg: 2,617 sf
built: 1922 - 2017  Avg: 1986
Dom: 0-451  Avg: 55

Take Care and Stay Safe

 Susan Sauer
(714) 328-3115

OC-Appraisals, Orange Co, Ca Residential Appraiser
October 22, 2018  Monthly Newsletter  
Challenges in Today's Housing Market

Challenges in Today's Housing Market

2018 has seen many changes:  

  • New Tax Laws
  • Mortgage Interest rate increases
  • Stock Market in Flux
  • Import/Export tariffs proposals 
  • Reduced inventory
  • Fire storms and Hurricanes
  • Increase in utilities (SDGE) rates in some areas
  • Current Market Values at or near the high values in 2006-2007 
  • The 10 year anniversary of the Financial Meltdown

What do any of these factors have to do with the Current Housing Market?
Are we on the verge of another "Bubble Burst"?
I don't think any of our "Crystal Balls" can tell us.
We may be looking at the "New New". 

Here are  some of the market data points to consider:


  • Inventory levels
  • Days on the market
  • Were there Multiple offers
  • Price reductions
  • Lower Original List prices compared to Closed Prices
  • Seasonal: was the prior spring/summer season was different this year from last year?
  • Prior 2-3 year sales and listing data
  • Market high - low ranges for all the wide range of products in each market.
  • Most IMPORTANT QUESTION: Can you re-sale this property (10-90 days after the contract or COE date), for the same price/dom, with or with out any "sweeteners".

The value of the dollar or purchasing power is decreasing over time
Have you seen a decline or increase in the number of Foreign purchasers or investors in the last 6 months?
Foreign & Investor buyer's hedge against future inflation and low returns on alternative investments.
Zillow - How are their "report market values" changing how potential buyer's/seller view the market?

My head is spinning around, just thinking about everything we as Real Estate Professionals, must pay attention to.

Market changes do not always change as quickly as the Sept 2007 period.
Have potential buyer's attitude changed from the 2002-2007 season?
Are potential buyers not as quick to purchase, more educated about purchasing and financing,
Are they willing to take their timelooking for the "perfect" home, price, location, interest rate ?

On to happier thoughts Halloween, my favorite time of the year!
Have a Safe October.




If you have any comments ,I'd like to hear from you.

Happy Fall!


 Susan Sauer





Posted by Susan Sauer on October 22nd, 2018 2:42 AMLeave a Comment

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OC-Appraisals, Orange Co, Ca Residential Appraiser
September 2018  Monthly Newsletter  
Video Link to Passive House "Ice Box" Challenge
(714) 328-3115

September 2018  Newsletter
Video Link to Passive House "Ice Box" Challenge

(714) 328-3115

September 27, 2018


Video Link: Passive House "Ice Box" Challenge



This video is a good example of the benefits of a "Passive House" built above the standard building codes.
The video is just a couple minutes long.
As they say a picture is worth a thousand words...

Here is a link to a "Ice Box Challenge" in Canada.
This shows the tangible and most visible illustration of the impact of a High Performance enclosure, as compared to a "Standard" built to code "house".
This experiment was in Vancouver BC, Canada


The difference between the 2 Ice Box tiny houses?
1.  better air sealing
2.  more insulation
3.  triple pane windows

As an appraiser - the more information the Listing Agents can enter into the listings, about the "green / passive house" items (spray foam insulation, thicker walls, sealed attic, separate in/out flow of air),
the reduced cost of heat/air per month/year.  
This is all information we can discuss in our appraisal reports - which equals higher market value.

There are also special finance programs for homes that are "Green/Passive High Performance".
Just another selling tool suggestion for you.


If you have any comments or have sold any homes like these, I'd like to hear from you.

Happy Fall!


 Susan Sauer
(714) 328-3115

Posted by Susan Sauer on September 27th, 2018 5:11 AMLeave a Comment

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OC-Appraisals, Orange Co, Ca Residential Appraiser
August 2018  Monthly Newsletter  
Disaster Recovery Workshop
(714) 328-3115

August 2018  Newsletter
Notes from a Disaster Recovery Workshop.

I went out of town the week of the "Jim Holy Trail Fire" started in Trabuco Canyon, Orange Co. and quickly spread into Corona and south to Ortega Hwy/Lake Elsinore, Riverside Co.

It was frighting to watch and hear the news about this fire in our own back yard.
My flight to Sacramento had 4 firefighters from Texas, traveling to help out in the Carr Fire.

In March of 2018, I attended a workshop in Sacramento @ the REEA (Real Estate Appraisers Association) on Disaster Valuations. I'd like to share some of my notes from this workshop.

As Real Estate Professionals we can offer the following help and advice.
Most of us are "Re-active" and not "Pro-Active".

Pro-Active Suggestions:

1.  Don't Rush - Take your time. Phase 1 is the Emotional Loss 
2.  Get a copy of your insurance policy. 
How is the claim paid? 
What is covered and what is not? 
Replacement Cost - make sure you have RCV (Replacement Cost Value), not ACV (Actual Cash Value).
Site Improvements?, 
Code Upgrade Rider?
3.  Make sure you understand All the Options, before taking any major steps.
4.  Ask questions, get all the information.  Especially from their insurance carrier.
5.  Backup your Data to an "off site Cloud Service": photos, video's of the interior and exterior of our homes, copies of our insurance policies, loan documents, bank accounts info, prior appraisal report, receipts, credit cards, etc...

Re-Active Suggestions:
1.  Ask family and friends for photos of Family function photos: birthdays, weddings, holidays, etc.. - these photos not only are memories, but show interior & exterior features  
2.  Ask the lender(s) for copies of your old appraisal.  
3.  The insurance co will have a list of Items: furniture, jewelry, art, bedding, clothes,toys,shoes,kitchen items, etc. 
Make sure all items are correctly accounted for. 
4.  Data Source: tax records, planning dept/plans/permits, prior MLS listings. 

The homeowners may need several appraisals during the Claims process, Tax Loss, Litigation and Insurance Settlement. 

1.  Retrospective value - day before the disaster.
2.  After the disaster - when it is safe to return to the property, the insurance company will start the process to get their replacement cost (Cost approach) valuation. Building structures only.

Additional appraisals may be needed, following the insurance company's initial replacement cost valuation for:
Property Tax Assessment reductions challenge
Rebut the insurance valuation
IRS causality loss tax claims
other types of civil litigation
This process could take up to 2 yrs+ for the "immediate after date".

Things that must happen:
1.  Individual County issues Local State of Emergency 
2.  Govornor Declared Disaster Area
Before you can file for a Property Tax Installment Deferral

Calamity Claim Forms: Specific Rules:  
Damage $10,000 or more, Claims must be filed within 12 months of the date of the damage (verify local Ordinance), Value date is the Last Day of Month Proceeding the Month in Which the Calamity Occurred.
Properties Types to Suffer a Calamity:
Real and Personal Property, Business Equipment, Fixtures, Orchards, Agricultural, Groves, Vineyards, Boats/Vessels, Aircraft, Mobile / Manufacture Homes

External Stigma
Loss of Land Value due to chemicals,loss of views, mature vegation/trees.

Increase in Building Costs (concrete, drywall, nails, screws, wood, frame materials and labor ...etc
Slow rebuilding process
Overall Economy

Data Contributors:
REAA March 13, 2018 Workshop Casualty Loss and Post Disaster Valuations handout.
Penny Woods and  Bruce Ford
Assessors: Cristina Wynn and Cheif Appraiser Sacramento County: Jim Glickman, MAI. 
Steve Smith, MAI, SRA, and Ryan Lundquist


 Susan Sauer
(714) 328-3115

Posted by Susan Sauer on August 20th, 2018 5:08 AMLeave a Comment

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August 1st, 2018 4:56 AM
OC-Appraisals, Orange Co, Ca Residential Appraiser
July Monthly Newsletter
Notes from a Probate Workshop
(714) 328-3115

Happy End of July   Hope everyone is having a Great Summer!


I want to share my Notes from the June 18th Probate Workshop sponsored by the Fountain Valley, Ca MLS – presented by:  Paul Horn, Probate Attorney & CPA.


California Probate

California Probate is a legal proceeding required to settle a deceased person’s estate, paying all debts of the decedent, and distributing the property to the heirs and beneficiaries.

Probate is the orderly method of distributing the assets of a deceased person following someone’s death. An estate maybe testate (died with a Will) or intestate (died without a Will).


Probate is the court-supervised process for identifying and gathering the decedent's assets; paying taxes, debts, and expenses; and distributing the balance to beneficiaries. Probate deals with transferring the property of someone who has died (decedent) to the heirs or beneficiaries, deciding if a Will/Codicil is valid, and taking care of the financial responsibilities of the person who has died.


Intestate Estates (no Will) require Probate for the appointment of an Administrator and to determine how the Administrator shall be allowed to act under that appointment.


A Testate Estate (with Will/Trust) generally has a person or persons suggested to be Executor (s).


Per Mr. Horn – if the decedent passed away with or without a Will….. There may be complications which may need special knowledge or handling by an attorney.


Without a Will the process can take 12+ months.   With a Will and Trust ~0-3+ months.

Basic Probate Time Line:

  1. Petition & Notice Hearings  (2-3 months) – File Petition for Probate & Hearing Date

  2. Creditiors & Claims  (3-6 months) – Gather Assets, File Inventory, Notice to Creditiors, Allowance/Rejection of Creditors Claim. 

     Letters (who is Authorized as the Administrator Personal Representative (the person that can sign  the listing agents contract). Letters DE-150 & DE-140 will name this person and the Authority: Full or  LIMITED AUTHORITY ( with Court Supervision: sell or exchange real property or grant an option to  purchase real property, or borrow money with the loan secured by an encumbrance upon real property.

  3. Inventory & Probate Appraisal (3+ months) Taxes, Prop: 58 & 193, Capital Gains, Estate Taxes.  The court will assign a Probate Appraiser (drive by/exterior only appraisal). Real Estate Transaction: Selling price must be within 90% of Probate Referee’s appraised value.  10% Customary Court Deposit.  Accept offer.  Report sale & Petition for order confirming sale.  Notice to Buyer, Beneficiaries, interested parties. Court Hearing to confirm sale & over bidding process, Court Order.  Close Escrow

  4. Petition to Distribute and Receipts (2-3 months)

  5. Finish

My take away: 

I would suggest if the property is mostly original or a fixer or highly upgraded, superior amenity or features, that you hire an independent, unbiased appraiser, so that you can submit this appraisal to the court when filing the Petition, in Probate Court.

The estate will need an appraisal if there was a Will/Trust for tax purposes, as of the date of passing.


Hopefully the “Estate” has hired an Attorney that specializes in Probate & Trusts, to guide everyone through this process.


Data: from Paul Horn Law Group, PC, Probate, Trust Estate Planning www.PaulHornLawFirm.com

Contact #’s  800-380-7076    562-474-1231     11404 South St, Cerritos, Ca 90703

Susan Sauer

Certified Residential Appraiser




Consider me for all your Non-Lender Appraisal needs.

 Susan Sauer
(714) 328-3115

Posted in:Probate Info and tagged: Monthly Newsletter
Posted by Susan Sauer on August 1st, 2018 4:56 AMLeave a Comment

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