Cheaper to OWN than RENT in 72% of Metro Areas

Great news for the housing market!

The Trulia Rent vs. Buy Index reports it is now more expensive to rent than to buy a home in 72% of major metropolitan areas across the US!

The home ownership line is finally crossing over the rental line due to rising demand for rentals and falling home prices combined with low interest rates.

Pete Flint, chief executive and co-founder of Trulia says: “Since the start of the Great Recession, many former homeowners have flooded the rental market… Following the principles of supply and demand, renting has become relatively more expensive than buying in most markets.”

The most affordable markets are Las Vegas and Miami where the price-to-rent ration is 6 and where the foreclosure rates have topped the charts

Homeownership was also cheaper in the metro areas of San Francisco, Seattle, New York and Kansas City. On the other hand, Oakland, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Miami and Phoenix are experiencing high rates of unemployment or foreclosures and are still more affordable to renters.

Bring on the buyers! Check out my listings at

And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Specialist!

Best Regards,


Past President, Orange County Assoc. of Realtors


How well do you know your US Presidents?

Here is some fun Sunday trivia for you…5 interesting facts about US Presidents. Enjoy!

-At his first inauguration, George Washington added the “so help me God” to the end of the oath of office

-No president has ever been an only child

-The “S” in Harry S Truman doesn’t stand for anything; therefore, there is no period after his middle initial

-James Earl “Jimmy” Carter was the first president to be born in a hospital

-Abraham Lincoln was the tallest president at 6′ 4″ and weighing 180 pounds while James Madison was the shortest president, standing at only 5’4″ and never weighing more than 100 pounds.


And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Specialist!

 Best Regards,


Past President, Orange County Assoc. of Realtors


Caruso’s Laguna Beach Closed Sales Report!

Is the market is improving or at least stabilizing!?  We provide the latest market updates regularly, as well as personal consultation of market direction…

The Laguna Beach Closed Sales Report for January 1st – December 31st

The Laguna Beach Closed Sales Report for Homes Sold in the 0-$500,000 Range:

2010   15 listings closed escrow

2009   17 listings closed escrow             At pace with the previous year

2008   17 listings closed escrow

The Laguna Beach Closed Sales Report for Homes Sold in the $500,000-$1,000,000 Range:

2010   97 listings closed escrow

2009   93 listings closed escrow                    Nearly Tripled!

2008   35 listings closed escrow

The Laguna Beach Closed Sales Report for Homes Sold in the $1,000,000+ Range:

2010   224 listings closed escrow

2009   178 listings closed escrow           Wow!! Up 45%! The Beach Rules!

2008   155 listings closed escrow

*Does a sales report tell the whole story about market environment, consumer sentiment and the value of your home?  Is it time to sell?  Is it time to add a property to your investment portfolio? Is the market changing, and in which direction?  Information is critical to your success. My Web Site and Blog can keep you up to date.

Call our office if you have any questions or want more information on a particular neighborhood.  Learn What it’s Like to Work With Someone Focused on Your Success….not Theirs. 3 decades of experience, education and proven production.  Call Michael at 949-753-7900 or 949-495-8600 or email! Everything is also available online at

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

Best regards,


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

Caruso’s OC Happenings ~ North County



Sunday, January 30th at 7pm is the 2011 Ms. America Contest at the Doubletree Anaheim Resort. The Ms. America Pageant conducts a nationwide search to find contestants and make one woman’s dream of a lifetime come true by crowning her Ms. America 2011! Over $40,000.00 in gifts and prizes will be awarded at the pageant! The pageant is open to women 26 years of age and up – single, divorced or married who are articulate, interesting, elegant and classy. Pageant competition is based on Interview, Evening Gown, Sportswear (jogging, yoga, aerobic wear, etc) and the exciting Finalist On-Stage Question.


TOMORROW January 29 from 11am-3pm at the Brea Community Center (695 E. Madison Way) will be the Bridal Show! Brides, grooms, parents and friends can shop and compare among a variety of vendors including caterers, D.J.’s, reception sites, invitations, bakeries, event coordinators, florists, formal wear, travel representatives, photographers and more. Attendees will also be able to sample foods, compare prices and get ideas for their wedding and reception. Admission is $6 a person. For more information you can call 714-671-4427 or you can visit  


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Coming up on Valentines Day, February 14th at the Senior Community Center there will be a bake sale held from 9:30am-2:00pm. Also there will be a Valentines Lunch In held from 10am-1pm.


Starting February 10th through Valentines Day you can order Singing Valentines. Singing Valentines are delivered by members of the award-winning Orange Empire Barbershop Chorus.  To order a Singing Valentine you can call (714) 879-9628.  Proceeds go to music education programs.


February 4-6 at Garden Grove Park is the Tet Festival.  The event is sponsored by the Union of Vietnamese Students Association, and celebrates the arrival of spring and the first day of the lunar year.


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The City of Westminster is accepting applications for the 2011 Youth in Government Day, scheduled to take place on Wednesday, February 23 from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. in the Westminster Civic Center. In order to participate, you must be a junior or a senior and currently attending Westminster High School or La Quinta High School. For more information about the program, please contact 714.548.3671.You can sumbit your application to your school’s ASB Office or at the Westminster Community Services & Recreation Department located at 8200 Westminster Blvd.  *APPLICATION DEADLINE – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 11*. For more information or to get an application you can visit


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

Best regards.          

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI           

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

Caruso’s OC Happenings ~ Central County



Coming up March 1-6 at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, Segerstrom Hall in is the Rock of Ages Musical. Rock of Ages is a rock/jukebox musical built around classic rock hits from the 80s, especially from the famous glam metal bands of the decade. The musical features songs from Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Steve Perry, Poison and Asia, among other well-known rock bands. For more information you can visit


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Coming up February 6th is the Surf City Pacific Shoreline Marathon. This annual 26.2 mile marathon travels along oceanfront course. Categories include; Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K and Kid’s 1 Mile. This event features an amazing collector series of surfboard finisher medals, Surf Bands along the course and a beachfront expo. For more information you can call 888-422-0786.


Coming up Saturday February 19th at 8am is the Timberwolf 5 K Run/Walk. “Run with the Pack” on a USATF-Certified 5K course to test your tactics and your race fitness. For casual runners and walkers, the breathtaking views will make the 3-mile journey well worth the price of admission. Come check out the scenery and enjoy the company of hundreds of friendly fitness enthusiasts. And for the kids and those adults who want to smile from start to finish, we have the 1K “Fun Run.” Register by February 14th for the best price. The race features: Micro-chip timing Awards by category and age Walkers and casual participants are welcome! All registered participants will receive a commemorative event t-shirt. Great free food, including lots of goodies from our fabulous sponsors!


Coming up February 26 is Race on the Base! The yearly event has continued to provide not only a forum for local avid runners and walkers, but has also instilled a sense of pride and teamwork between the Los Alamitos City Council, the citizens of Los Alamitos, the Rossmoor Community Services District, and the local business community. All proceeds will benefit the USA Water Polo National Aquatic Center at the Joint Forces Training Base. For more information you can call 562-430-1073.


NOW through January 27th is Newport Beach Restaurant Week! The City of Newport Beach, Southern California’s Premier Dining Destination, invites you to Newport Beach Restaurant Week which is a Citywide Culinary Celebration. Lunch ranges from $15-$20 and dinner ranges from $25- $45. No passes, tickets or coupons required. Simply dine at a participating restaurant. Early reservations recommended. Close to 100 of Newport Beach’s finest eateries will participate for a full week in this citywide culinary celebration, serving up special prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus at bargain prices. Most restaurants will offer a minimum of three offerings per course giving the dining community an incredible opportunity enjoy exceptional prix-fixe meals prepared by the hottest Newport Beach Chefs! For more information and a complete list of participating restaurants you can visit


Coming up February 5 from 9am-4pm is the Meditation & Personal Growth Retreat (Center for Spiritual Development). Come Join Dr. Puff and Elizabeth Cappelletti, M.A., LMFT in Living a Meditative Life! In this one day retreat, they will guide you by giving you skills that will allow you to still your mind throughout the day and stop being troubled by negative thoughts. You can develop the ability to experience peace and bliss throughout your day. For more information you can contact Stephanie Fisher at (703) 628-2063 or email her at

TOMORROW January 29 through May 1 Discovery Science Center Sesame Street Presents: “The Body”. The Body is Discovery Science Center’s most exciting exhibit all about you! This unique exhibit offers a learning experience set in the familiar and reassuring world of Sesame Street. The exhibit is an exciting collection of hands-on, interactive and multimedia experiences that allow children to explore the human body. For more information you can visit


Calling all Lifeguards! It’s that time already! Coming up May 21st, 2011 are tryouts for Ocean Lifeguards. Check-in is at 8 AM @ Lifeguard Headquarters. You must have a valid California Drivers License and diploma or GED equivalent. If under 18, a parent must sign the waiver of liability. Forms and information are available at Lifeguard Headquarters (562) 430-2613.


Coming up April 16th from 8am-12pm is the Community Yard Sale! The event takes place at the Tustin Area Senior Center parking lot. Vendor applications are now being accepted for the event through March 4th. For more information you can call Erica Desselle at 714-573-3321 or email her at Applications for the event are located at 


Coming up this summer on June 25, 2011 the Friends of the Villa Park Library (FOVPL) are happy to be putting on the seventh annual Villa Park 5K run/walk, the second annual Progressive Marathon, the first annual 10K, and the first annual interrupted 15K which starts and ends at the Villa Park High School.  Race Day Registration starts at 6 AM, 5K Run/Walk at 7:15 AM and 10K Run at 7:55 AM. For more information or to fill out an entry form you can visit

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

Best regards.                             

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI           

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


For more information visit

Caruso’s OC Happenings ~ South County

South County


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Now through early April Gray Whales migrate annually along the west coast of North America. Since the Gray Whales migrate just a few miles off the coast, simple cruises from Dana Point and Newport Beach enable you to see these spectacular creatures in their natural habitat. You can reserve a spot for Whale watching at these locations: Captain Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Safari (34451 Ensenada Place) and Dana Wharf Sport fishing (34675 Golden Lantern).


Coming up in the future on April 30th from 7:00am-3:00pm will be the community garage sale. More information to come as the day nears.


Coming up February 7th-13th is the Laguna Beach Music Festival. This festival is dedicated to artistic excellence and innovation, featuring an internationally acclaimed Mentor Musician or Ensemble along with other talented artists in a weeklong blend of performances and education. Guest artistic director for the 2011 Festival is Brooklyn Rider.


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**OPEN HOUSE** Saturday & Sunday, January 29th and 30th from 1:00-5:00pm at 5 Marsh Creek in the prestigious Ocean Ranch Community. This beautiful custom home on a 20,000 sq. ft. lot has everything you could want. JUST REDUCED $250,000. Only 2 miles from the beach, don’t wait till it is too late! The seller is VERY motivated and wants to get this home sold! Bring all offers!  For more information you can visit or call Michael Caruso at 949-753-7900.


Tomorrow January 29th from 11:00am-4:00pm at Pittsford Park (21701 Pittsford Drive) will be the community event Snow Fest! For more information you can call 949-461-3450.


Coming up Feb. 10, 17, and 24 & Feb. 11, 18, and 25 from 3:30-5:00pm the staff at Starr Ranch, a 4000-acre Audubon Sanctuary in southeast Orange County, invites kids ages 8 – 12 to visit the Ranch for their after school program in February. The first afternoon, kids will learn how our biologists study reptiles and amphibians. Next, the group will learn how biologists study hawks using radio telemetry. The third afternoon, kids will go on a nature walk with staff biologists. The cost is $30 for the three-day session and reservations are required. Wear clothes for outdoor walking. Rain dates by arrangement. For reservation or more information you can call 949-858-0131 or online at


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Coming up Saturday, March 12th from 5-10pm at the Community Center (100 N. Calle Seville) is the 44th annual community St. Patrick’s Dinner Dance sponsored by the Exchange Club in partnership with the City of San Clemente to benefit local charities. Corned beef and cabbage with all the trimmings served from 5:00pm-8:00pm. Ticket donation includes a door prize raffle ticket. Green beer and a full service bar at extra cost. For ticket or event information, call (949)492-6138


Coming up February 16th from 6-9pm is Taste of San Juan. Help launch the kick-off celebration of the Fiesta de Las Golondrinas at El Adobe Restaurant. The Taste brings together many of San Juan’s marvelous restaurants under one roof to tempt you with ‘tastes’ of their fare. Come and be tempted by all there is at “The Taste of San Juan”. For more information you can call 949-493-1976

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

Best regards.         

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI                 

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

As seen in

Caruso’s Green Tip of the Day!

Plant trees. They give us shade, fruits, wood for fuel, and prevent soil erosion in the garden.

They help keep the house cool in summer and act as a barrier from cold winds in winter.

The absorption of carbon dioxide by trees reduces global warming.

Trees are the lungs of our world.

And that’s your green tip of the day!


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

Best regards,


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