Wow! The wind was really blowing in Seal Beach today. Almost blew me off the pier.  It’s been quite windy lately in Old Town.  I’m sure the wind borders love it.

Have a nice day!
Pat. 562.773.3919
Pat@pathaleonline.com

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The strandI have many of my clients asking me if it is a good time to buy or sell real estate today in Seal Beach. I always tell them if you don’t have to sell don’t, but if you do have to sell it is a great time. There are not to many properties on the market in Seal Beach right now or any where else for that matter. There are a lot of buyers out there trying to purchase to get the lower interest rates. As a mater of fact I have not seen interest rates this low ever since I started in Real Estate in 1979..

I would say sell,  especially if you have a unusual property, or you just really need to sell;   it is the best time to sell and there are multiple offers on almost everything.

If you need a “Free Market Evaluation” please give me a call.  I have sold a few homes this year with out even using the multiple listing service.  So if you want to sell confidentially let me help you.

First Time Buyer Down Payment Assistance Program

The program is designed to assist Low to Moderate Income Eligible Households who, based on institutional underwriting criteria, are unable to qualify for and/or afford to purchase a home and make the necessary mortgage payments without financial assistance.

Qualifying properties must be single family homes, condominiums, or townhomes located within the city of Huntington Beach and purchased for owner occupancy at an Affordable Housing Cost. The Program is funded by the Huntington Beach Redevelopment Agency through its low and moderate income housing fund and the Federal Government’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funds.

Criteria Includes:
Participating homebuyers must qualify for a “First Trust Deed Loan”; a fixed rate level payment , 30 year first mortgage loan with an institutional lender approved by the Affordable Clearinghouse.

The maximum loan amount will not exceed $100,000. Limits are:
$50,000 for 1 bedroom
$75,000 for 2 bedrooms
$100,000 for 3 bedrooms

Minimum underwriting criteria include:
No minimum credit score
No credit accounts past due at time loan is recorded
No outstanding unpaid judgments or involuntary liens
No bankruptcies

-Applicant must be a low to moderate income household, in which the households total combined gross household income cannot exceed one hundred twenty percent (120%) of area median income for Orange County.

-Priority for current Huntington Beach residents or persons employed with a business located in the City.

Year Percentage of Equity Share Should Homeowner Sell . . .
Years 1-7 100%
Years 8-12 75%
Years 13-17 50%
Years 18-22 25%
Years 23-30 10%
30 + Equity Share and Interest Eliminated

-Zero percent interest rate for Down Payment Loan per Fannie Mae Guidelines for Community seconds . No deed restriction on property due to equity share payment.

-Refinancing with approval of Program Director. No cash out unless participant agrees to pay off Agency loan.

How to Participate:
• Affordable Housing Clearinghouse has been selected to be the Down Payment Assistance Program administrators. For more information contact them at:
Affordable Housing Clearinghouse
23861 El Toro Road, Suite 401
Lake Forest, CA 92630
Phone (949) 859-9255

For further information on this new program you may contact –
Sidney Stone
Housing Manager/City of Huntington Beach
(714) 536-5901
Sidney.stone@surfcity-hb.org

I know this is a bit out of our normal area, but i couldn’t resist letting you know that the Newport Beach Restaurant Week will be held January 18 through 22.  Here all of us foodies will have an opportunity to taste and expand our culinary horizons.  There will be almost 100 restaurants across the neighborhoods participating.

http://tinyurl.com/72vpq5 is a link of participating restaurants for this year.  Which ones are you going to try?

Pat invited me to post my thoughts about PCH.

One of the things that I have enjoyed since moving to Seal Beach is driving south on PCH from Seal Beach as far as I want.  From Seal Beach you can go to Dana Point, then through Capistrano Beach, and into San Clemente.  Eventually you run out of PCH until you can pick it up again in Oceanside.  The marine base interrupts this route.

It’s a relaxing drive and sometimes this is the only thing that allows me to reduce my day-to-day stress.  When I have the time, I enjoy going all the way to San Clemente.  But that’s a rare occurance.

The “magic” of PCH is the ocean itself.  Forty five minutes to Dana Point and another twenty to San Clemente.  Along the way are the beach communities, towns, or areas (whatever they prefer to call their stretch of the beach) of Sunset, Huntington (“Surf City”), Newport, Corona Del Mar, Crystal Cove, the Montage Resort (this is not an area – it’s a resort hotel), Laguna, Ritz Carlton (another upscale destination), Dana Point, Capo Beach, and San Clemente.  Each has its unique character.  And all of it is good.

Along some of these stretches the water is immediately to the right and almost always in view.  In Surf City you can watch the surfers.  Their pier is one happening place.  There is always foot traffic.  At the foot of the pier you can sometimes find kiosks with merchants selling their wares.  Santa Barbara is about the only other place where they have street merchants regularly. 

Further south, the beaches and waters around Crystal Cove are absolutely stunning.  The water is just more blue than anywhere else along the Orange County coast.  And it’s relatively uncrowded.  There used to be a mobile home park right along the beach that the state confiscated and turned into an upscale state park (think expensive and six month reservations).  Above the beaches along that stretch is the old “Date Shake” stand (where they served date shakes) – now affiliated with Ruby’s.  If it’s not too crowded, it’s a nice place to stop for an enjoyable meal.  Be sure to take your time here, enjoy your meal, and enjoy the coast.   It’s beautiful. 

I always imagined driving PCH listening to Miles Davis or John Coltrane but the excitement along the way is better suited for good ol’ rock and roll – you know, Chuck Berry or Creedance Clearwater.  If I ever do PCH late enough, I’ll try the jazz.

On my next post, I’ll tell you about one of my favorite spots on PCH.

Contributed by an anonymous friend.

Being centered in Seal Beach provides us with convenient access to one of most scenic and exciting drives around – PCH (the Pacific Coast Highway).  I take this drive often when I’m feeling the need to just get out and relax!  With a dozen or so Starbucks stores along PCH within 45 minutes, there’s even time to sip a latte and enjoy a good book for a few minutes.

From Seal Beach and headed north, I actually take 2nd Street so I can drive through Belmont Shore. 

Lined for several blocks with unique shops and restaurants, Belmont Shore is a good one day destination.  2nd Street is a couple of blocks from the ocean, but if you don’t mind that, then you’ll will enjoy nice weather, crowds, a variety of eating places, and two Starbucks stores.  My favorite shopping destination there is Banana Republic.  I normally just look (I save my money for the restaurants here).

What’s your favorite store?