Caruso’s Quote of the Day

 “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around…”

And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection

Best regards,

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GREEN GRI

2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

Caruso’s Top 3

 Since starting in real estate years ago I have come to conclusion that buying a home is one of the biggest decisions an individual can make. So it’s understandable that one considering a home purchase may take their time to avoid rushing into such a large financial commitment. However, several factors might leave prospective home buyers who don’t purchase a property now wishing they had taken action sooner.

“Current market conditions have created a perfect storm of sorts that has made it an ideal time to purchase for first-time and trade-up buyers alike,” said James M. Weichert, president and founder of Weichert, Realtors. “Those who have the means and the desire to buy now but don’t, aren’t likely to see such a great opportunity again anytime soon.”

Specifically, Weichert offered three reasons why those who aren’t under contract to purchase a new home by April 30, 2010 might regret it.

1. They won’t receive a sizeable amount of money from Uncle Sam.

For the past two years, the federal government has offered a home buyer tax credit to help stimulate the economy. But that financial incentive is set to expire soon. First-time buyers who aren’t under contract to purchase a home by April 30, 2010 will leave the $8,000 that is available to them through the tax credit on the table. Meanwhile, repeat buyers will miss out on the opportunity to collect up to $6,500 from the government.

2. They might not lock-in on the historically-low interest rates.

Thanks to measures taken by the Federal Reserve including the purchasing of mortgage-backed securities, interest rates have remained historically-low for several years. With the economy beginning to show signs of recovery, it is widely believed that the government will soon put an end to these stimulus efforts.

If that happens, many economists believe we will begin to see a sharp increase in interest rates which could result in a much higher monthly payment for those who wait. For example, an interest rate increase of 1% on a 30-year fixed mortgage of $300,000 could cost a buyer $188 more a month or $67,000 more over the span of the entire loan.

3. They might miss out on record home price affordability.

Home price affordability is at its most optimal level in decades. As a result, those who wait to buy will likely pay more for the home they purchase than what that same home would cost right now. In fact, home prices have already begun to rise slightly in some markets. Instead of getting a better bargain, waiting to buy a home might net buyers a higher purchase price, less appreciation and less house for their buck.

“There is no time to waste for anyone who wants to take advantage of this great buying opportunity. Particularly for those who have a home to sell first,” added Weichert. “If you are prone to saying ‘what if’ and wondering what could have been, you will thank yourself down the road for buying now.”

 And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection

Best regards,

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GREEN GRI

 2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

For more information, visit


Clean GREEN This Spring! (edit/delete)

 According to:  Green Genius Guru @ MMPI


Spring has sprung, and Green Genius knows that means it’s time for a little spring cleaning.  Follow these easy tips and recipes to keep your cleaning green!

Start by PRE-cleaning!
–          REDUCE the amount you have to clean by going through the closets, drawers, and shelves where clutter lives.  Chances are there are a few shirts with the tags still on or books you read years ago and haven’t picked up since… Donate them!

–          REUSE what you find in the spring cleaning process!  Your stock pile of old shopping bags can help you reorganize your closet, and you can cut down on waste by cleaning with those old towels rather than paper towels.  

–          RECYCLE stacks of magazines and old electronics.
Make a green cleaning kit

           Homemade, non-toxic cleaners will save cash, the environment, and your health!  Follow these easy recipes to start cleaning greener today.

o        ½ tsp washing soda (available at most hardware stores) OR 2½ tsp borax
o        1 – 2 drops of liquid soap
o        2 cups hot water
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle, and shake until washing soda/borax dissolves.  Add a few drops of essential oils for a bit of aromatic grime fighting!  Bonus: Lavender and tea-tree oils are also natural antiseptics.
–          GLASS CLEANER
o       ¼ – ½ tsp liquid soap
o       3 tbsp vinegar
o       2 cups water
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle, and shake.  Bonus: The soap in this recipe will cut the wax residue left behind by commercial cleaners you may have used before, letting even more sunshine through your windows!
–          SOFT SCRUB
o        ½ cup baking soda
o        Enough liquid soap to create a mixture the consistency of cake frosting
This recipe is perfect for cleaning your bathtub – it rinses easily and will not leave grit.  Tip: Add 1 tsp vegetable glycerin and store in a glass jar to make the scrub last.  Otherwise, only make as much as you need each time.
 Go Green!!!

 And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.

Best regards,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GREEN GRI     

2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

Caruso’s Recession Update!

Is the recession finally coming to an end? According to the housing crisis is finally stabilizing in 5 cities, and the job outlook is positive.

In recent weeks business in Washington, D.C. ground to a halt as record snowfalls pummeled the area and a sparring match over national health care reform hijacked the political conversation. But the nation’s capital is getting something right: It is emerging from the recession better than any other major city in the country, according to research by Forbes.

Jobs in Washington are growing quickly, and in 2008 the city produced more in goods and services than almost anywhere in the country.

D.C. and nine other cities (among them: Boston, Los Angeles and a host of metros in Texas) are best surviving the downturn in part because they specialize in industries that are relatively insulated from economic volatility. Federal and state jobs all but guarantee the health of a local economy, and nowhere is there more government-related work than in Washington. The city has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, at 6.2%, and its output amounts to $362.3 billion, more than three times the average for the country’s largest cities.

It also saw a more modest slide in home sale prices than many other metros in late 2009. Cities where the recession’s effects are lessening either never felt the full brunt of the housing crisis, or have proven resilient enough that demand is returning sooner than elsewhere in the country. These strong housing markets further enrich the local economy by feeding a host of secondary industries, like construction, lending and household services.

Uncle Sam as a recession shield
Government spending hasn’t hurt Austin, Texas, either. It’s the seat of state government and tied for No. 1 on our list of 10 cities best surviving the recession. Jobs have been lost nearly everywhere in the past three years, but between December 2007 and December 2009 the number of jobs in Austin rose by 0.98%; more than any of the other major cities we looked at. And jobs are expected to grow by 8.09% in the next three years, the second-best job outlook on our list. Third on the list is Dallas, home to a thriving technology and enery sector where jobs are projected to jump 7.19% in three years.

Behind the numbers
To find the cities where the recession was easing, Forbes looked for a relatively low unemployment rate, using December 2009 figures, the most recent available, and the rate of job growth between December 2007 and December 2009, both from the Bureau of Labor statistics. We sought cities where economists expected that jobs would keep growing, based on the three-year job-growth forecast from; we also looked for metros with the highest positive change in median sale price for single family homes between the third and fourth quarter of 2009, according to the National Association of Realtors. Finally, we factored in Metropolitan Gross Domestic Product – the dollar amount of goods and services produced within a metro area – provided for 2008, the most recent available, by Moody’s.

Forbes ranked the 40 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas for which it had comprehensive data (that excludes Nashville, Tenn. and Detroit) on all these measures, then averaged the rankings for a final score.

Good fortune in the Lone Star State
If one state is a poster child for economic recovery, it’s Texas, home to four of the 10 cities on our list. There’s more to why Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston are faring well than just the state’s energy industry. The tech, government and education industries supplement the oil state’s riches. As for housing, cities in Texas didn’t see the same run-up in home prices and rampant speculation that led to the spectacular bubble burst elsewhere in the country.

 “The housing market got lucky, if you want to look at it that way,” says James P. Gaines, research economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “We didn’t have excessive overbuilding, so we don’t have a big overhang of unsold new homes, and because Texas has among most affordable housing in the country, the demand sustained.”

Like Austin and Dallas, Houston, tied for No. 4 on the list, is expected to experience a three-year 7.03% rise in jobs. But nowhere are jobs projected to grow more than in San Antonio, where four military bases should help drive its expected 8.32% increase.

Hope where housing markets stay afloat
California was perhaps hit hardest by the housing crisis. In spite of that, Los Angeles rises above the rest of the state, and other big cities in the country, to No. 9 on our list. Although the Golden State’s real estate woes began earlier and were more pronounced than in large parts of the country, they began easing sooner.

Los Angeles has strong banking and finance industries and a housing market that, while it suffered from a major pricing bubble and bust, has seen a resurgence of demand. After falling to a median $311,100 in the second quarter of 2009, home sale prices there jumped 11% in the third quarter and another 2% between the third and fourth quarter of 2009 to a median $342,700, according to the National Association of Realtors, making No. 4 in sales-price improvement out of our 40 cities.

Although it’s across the country, Boston, No. 8 on the list, has some of the same characteristics that make Los Angeles recession-resistant. Like the City of Angels, it is a cosmopolitan city and an educational center, chock full of amenities and jobs. Unemployment is below the 9.7% national average, at 8.2%, and the city pumped out a healthy $284.3 billion GDP in 2008.

Bright lights in the Midwest
Many former manufacturing centers in the Midwest suffer from pronounced economic troubles that began before – and will likely extend beyond – the country’s recession. But that’s not the case in two Midwest cities, Minneapolis and Kansas City, Nos. 4 and 10 on our list, respectively. Incidentally, Kansas City has extra cause to celebrate its appearance on this list: it’s also No. 13 on Forbes’ list of the 20 most miserable cities. High taxes, crime rates and poorly performing sports teams landed it on that list, which ranked cities on nine metrics, most of them non-economic (for example, pollution, government corruption and commute times). A promising economic outlook should give Kansas City residents reason to feel less miserable.

In Minneapolis, unemployment is a relatively low 7.2%. The Twin Cities have moved away from their manufacturing roots and are headquarters to major companies that include Cargill and General Mills. Although Kansas City, Missouri’s largest city, has lost jobs in the past three years, it has done so at a slower rate than most other cities, only dropping 2.7%, thanks in part to a strong education sector and a diversity of industry.

The cities quickest to emerge from the recession benefit from evergreen industries like government, defense, education and technology – sectors that will always provide work, even in a national slump. In addition, these five cities are diverse; their fortunes aren’t invested solely in one industry, giving them good prospects for the future.

But what do you think???

And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection

Best regards,

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GREEN GRI

2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

As seen in For more information visit

Caruso’s OC Happenings~North County




Its 2fer time at Disneyland for all SoCal residents! Which means enjoy the magic of the Disneyland Park on one day and the excitement of Disney’s California Adventure Park on another day – at a rate of just $36 a day from January 5 to April 12, 2010.


The Summer Volunteer Program applications for grades 8-10 are now available. They are due by 5:30pm April 16, 2010. For more information please call 714-990-7631


This Saturday March 27, 2010 at 2pm in the board room of the Buena Park Library, Dean Dixon will be presenting an insiders view of Buena Park history through real stories. For more information please call 714-826-4100 ext. 125 or visit


This Saturday March 27, 2010 Cypress High School will be holding a dual e-waste recycling collection and car wash fundraiser from 9am-1pm. For more information please call 714-229-8161


Noting to report


April 3, 2010 the city will be hosting its 2nd annual Eggs-Cavation egg hunt from 11am-2pm. For more information please call 714-741-5200.


Nothing to report


April 21, 2010 the La Palma Chamber of Commerce is holding a networking breakfast at 7:30am. For more information please visit


Beginning April 16, 2010 the city is offering FREE 20 hour community emergency response team training programs. For more information on location, dates and times please call 714-993-8117


Nothing to report


Coming up April 17, 2010 the city is hosting its annual Arbor Day event from 8am to noon. The event will feature tree planting as well as a demonstration. For more information visit


Nothing to report

And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.

Best regards,

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GREEN GRI

2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors   (949) 753-7900

As seen in the OC Register. For more information please visit

Caruso’s OC Happenings~Central County



April 24, 2010 the Epilepsy Walk Orange County will be taking place at TeWinkle Park starting at 9:45am. For more information please visit


May 7, 2010 there will be a spring dance for seniors from 7-9pm. Tickets are $7. For more information call 714-593-4446


Beginning Tuesday March 30, 2010 the community center will be hosting acting classes for ages 10-16 years old. The class is on basic acting and starts at 4:30pm. For more information please call 714-960-8884


The Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center will be hosting a 5 day spring break overnight camp for kids 8-14 years old. The price is $275 per a child. For more information please visit


Nothing to report


Nothing to report


Sunday April 4, 2010 the OCFA Reserve Firefighters will be hosting their annual pancake breakfast from 7am to noon. There will also be an egg hunt for children. For more information on prices and location please call 714-649-2211 or 714-649-2213


Need help dealing with your teenager? For the rest of the month Santa Ana Unified School District’s Student Achievement Department will host a series of parenting workshops. The workshops will provide conversation techniques parents can use when dealing with teens and preteens. For more information visit or call 714-558-5622


Calling all lifeguards! The city is offering Jr. Lifeguard preparation classes starting March 29, 2010 lasting till May 7, 2010. The classes will be held Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Ages 9-17 are able to participate for $80. For more information call 562-431-2627 ext. 1344.


Saturday April 3, 2010 Currie Middle School is hosting a parking lot sale from 7am-1pm. There will be clothing, furniture, household goods and toys being sold. There are about 40 spaces open to vendors for $10 each. For more information please call 714-730-7360


Nothing to report

And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.

Best regards,

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GREEN GRI

2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors   (949) 753-7900

As seen in the OC Register. For more information please visit

Caruso’s OC Happenings~South County

South County


Nothing to report


April 3, 2010 9-10am there will be an Easter egg hunt at Pines Park. Admission is FREE. For more information call 949-248-3530


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Saturday March 27, 2010 from 9am-4pm come and join Sawdust artists for hands-on weekend art workshops held on the Sawdust grounds. Two-day workshops cover many exciting media including painting, glass blowing, mixed media and more. Pre-registration is required. Tickets $165 – $265 and it includes all materials. For more information call 949 494-3030.


Nothing to report


April 3, 2010 from 9am-12pm come make crafts, get your face painted, play games, jump in the bounce house, visit the petting zoo and watch a spring show at Chapparosa Park. There will not be an Easter egg hunt at this event. For more information call 949-425-5100


Nothing to report


Congratulations to Phil Hughes, a Mission Viejo resident who has made the New York Yankees starting rotation!


Nothing to report


Calling all lifeguards! This Saturday March 27, 2010 San Clemente State Beach will be hosting lifeguard tryouts at 9am. They are looking to hire 15-20 lifeguards for San Clemente, San Onofre, and Doheny state beaches. Starting pay is $14.91 an hour! For more information please call 949-366-8509


From March 5-May 27, 2010 The San Juan Capistrano Library will be showcasing art work from locals around town. Karen Joy Jackson, a local photographer has a current exhibit at the library along with two other local artists Renuka Pillai and David Evans. Jackson’s artwork will be exhibiting 10 photographs of the Greek Islands. The other two artists are oil painters. There is also an Architectural Walking Tour each Saturday morning because of its architectural awards. Other events will be scheduled in the future. UPDATE: Friday April 2nd, 2010 from 5:30-7:00pm meet the artists in person at the San Juan Capistrano Library. The artists will provide some refreshments and a film will be shown by the library afterward. Please come by and support your local artists.

And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection

Best regards,

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GREEN GRI

2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors   (949) 753-7900

As seen in the OC Register. For more information please visit