American Pacific Mortgage

American Pacific Mortgage

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Ideal New Year's Resolution: A Living Trust

As most of you know, I was married in August. One of the first things Steve and I did is to update our joint Living Trust document, Wills, Powers of Attorney and Advanced Medical Directives, and update the vesting of our real estate.

I am passionate about utilizing Living Trusts, especially here in California…for anyone who owns a home or has children. Here are some of the things to consider:

1. Appoint short-term and long-term guardians for any minor children.

2. Review the title of your home to make sure it is vested properly; Either in your Trust, OR in Community Property with Rights of Survivorship, if you are married and don't have a trust.

3. Make sure you know where all important documents are located; whether your life insurance policy is up-to-date and has proper beneficiary designations, and whether any joint tenant property (bank/investment accounts) or other "transfer on death" type of assets are up-to-date.

4. Leave medical instructions, written down, for your family, on what to do if you are incapacitated.

5. Appoint someone to make both medical and financial decisions on your behalf, if you were to be incapacitated. (Medical Directive and Power of Attorney)

6. And last, but certainly not least, have legal instruments on how to properly distribute both personal and real property, and who will be charged with making those decisions. (Trustee if held in Trust, or Executor of your Estate if you are using only a Will)

An experienced Estate Planning attorney will be able to discuss the above items and help you to make the decision that is best for both you and your family. I would be happy to refer you to an attorney to assist you in this endeavor and provide you with peace of mind in the coming year. I promise you that is is far less costly to create a trust vs. using just a Will, or dying intestate. (without a will) Probate is costly and takes a long time, and a judge has to approve everything that is dispersed.

Happy New Year to all, and please make this a priority!


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

My Holiday Event Picks - All Around SoCal


Dana Point Harbor Boat Parade of Lights, December 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th – 7:30 p.m.

Huntington Harbor Boat Parade and Philharmonic Cruise of Lights, December 12th and 13th, 5:15 p.m.

Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade, Saturday December 12th - 5:55 fireworks and Parade is 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Channel Islands Harbor Parade of Lights, Saturday December 12th – 7:00 p.m.

Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade and Ring of Lights, December 16th – 20th 6:30 p.m.

Ventura Harbor Holiday Parade of Lights & fireworks, Friday December 18th and Saturday the 19th – 6:30 p.m.

King Harbor Holiday Boat Parade, December 12th 3:00 p.m. Concert and 5:45 boat parade

Oceanside Harbor Parade of Lights, December 12th

Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of lights, December 12th

Port of San Diego Bay Parade of Lights, December 13th and 20th, 5:30 p.m.


Westlake Village Symphony Christmas Concert, Friday December 4th - 8:00 p.m.

The Nutcracker, Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, December 12th and 13th

A Christmas Carol, South Coast Repertory Theater, through December 27th

Handel’s Messiah, Segerstrom Concert Hall, December 6th

A Child’s Christmas in Wales, Camino Real Playhouse, through December 20th

The Nutcracker, ABT at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, December 10th – 20th

A Swingin’ Christmas: The Count Basie Orchestra, Disney Concert Hall December 21st – 8:00 p.m.

Tis the Season, Pacific Chorale at OCPAC, December 20th and 21st


Palm Springs Festival of Lights Parade, December 5th – 5:45 p.m.

Corona Del Mar Christmas Walk, December 6th – 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 pm.

Santa Barbara Zoo -- Open on December 25th –!

Pershing Square Ice Rink with DJ’s, December through January 18th

Chanuka Festival, Ventura Harbor Village, Sunday December 13th – 2:00 p.m.

Janss Marketplace Holiday lights and Music Spectacular, December 11th to 24th – 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Venice Canals Holiday Lights Tour, December 15th to January 4th – 2:00 to 5:30 p.m.

LA Zoo Lights, including reindeer, at the LA Zoo, December through January 3rd, 6:00 to 10:00 p.m.

Griffith Park Holiday Light Festival Train Ride, Month of December, 5:00 to 9:00

San Diego Botanic Garden of Lights, December 26th – 30th, 5:00 to 9:00

Sawdust Festival Winter Fantasy, Laguna Beach, weekends through December 20th, 10:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m.

Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train with Santa, through December 23rd,

Great Dry Land Yacht Parade, Villa Park, December 13th 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

This is a photo in downtown Dallas at the Klyde Warren Park, with Museum Tower in the background, from last December.

I am wishing you all a fabulous holiday season filled with fun and family!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Will You Need an ARK this Rainy Season?

Protect your home in case of flooding. If you don't already have flood insurance, you don't live in a Federal Flood Zone per the FEMA maps. But, you can still purchase flood insurance...and for much less than if you DID live in a Flood Zone.

Flood insurance protects you from ground water that enters and/or damages your home. And this winter may be the year you need it, if we do receive torrential rain as the El Nino prognosticators are predicting.

I purchased a flood policy for my rental property in Orange since it has flooded twice in the past during heavy rains. And, I am purchasing a policy for my home in Dana Point as well, just in case. I feel the extra cost is well worth it in case of damage to either of the structures and their contents.

If you need an agent I highly recommend Jon Firey of Firey and Associates, located in Laguna Hills. Jon has handled my insurance for years as well as many of my clients, who all speak highly of him. His website is and his phone is 949-542-7222.

Keep safe and dry and don't delay, since flood insurance does not take effect for 30 days after putting a policy in place.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

New Mortgage Guidelines Take Effect; Football Season in the Heat of Summer!


Interest rates have been fairly stable this year with some ups and downs but we still see very attractive rates in the low to mid-4’s with no points. The Fed keeps telling us they are going to raise rates by Year-End. We’ll see. That was the party line last year. It has been a great year for homeowners in terms of rising property values, especially in most parts of California. This has made it easier for many to refinance.
The purchase market was a bit slow this summer, likely due to the high temperatures in SoCal. We expect a brisk fall once things cool down.

TRID: (TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure)

Effective October 3rd new regulations went into effect which will cause some temporary waves in the closing process--meaning borrowers are going to have to be even more patient with the process and its extended time frame. The Good Faith Estimate and Truth-in-lending forms, along with the HUD closing statement have been eliminated. The new initial loan disclosure form is the Loan Estimate and will include all costs associated with the transaction. The new closing form called the Closing Disclosure will include all closing costs and must be received by the buyer/borrower three business days prior to closing. And nothing can change on it, or a new 3-day waiting period begins again. Know I'm here to help you through this new loan process which can be frustrating. It should be fun!


Our Christmas was especially fun with a house full of (adult) children, lots of music and games. We think it was our best ever! This coming holiday season will be more quiet with many of the family alternating to other family locales. Sigh!

We welcomed my second grandchild, Miss Poppy Lou Card , into the world on January 2nd. She is growing fast and looks to be prepping to outgrow her big brother Theo, who will turn three in December. Watch out! I’ve had a grand time babysitting Theo for a couple of overnights this year, but I will say I am exhausted afterwards! This is why children are born to the young. 

Steve and I married (finally!) on August 8th in Lake Tahoe. Just prior to our big day, we took the entire family up to Rock Creek in the Eastern High Sierra for four days, where we were joined by my sister Katie to say goodbye to my mother and spread her ashes with those of my father.
We did lots of hiking and fishing, and had great card games at night...all 16 of us in four rental cabins. Then we set off for Lake Tahoe where we stayed four nights in a huge historic home on the North Shore, on Speedboat Beach. There we hosted a small party to witness our vows and celebrate with us. It was a great evening full of fun and dancing-- of course.

My youngest son Kenny started a PhD program at UCLA in September, in Urban Planning. He is living in Hollywood with his partner Moselle. We are thrilled to have him back in Southern California. Only one more to go!


I’ve visited Dallas a number of times with Steve; Museum Tower continues to impress and sales are moving briskly. Steve and I visited my daughter Katie and her husband Paul in Ann Arbor during the summer and rented a pontoon boat, hiked in National parks and listened to great music at their outdoor music festival.

In May Steve and I flew down to Cabo San Lucas for a trip with our dear friends Cynthia and Bill. We stayed in San Jose del Cabo for two nights, to attend their Art Walk, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Friday evening we had dinner at Flora Farms. Outstanding. Steve wants them to open a restaurant closer to us. Please!

Next we drove to the village of Cabo Pulmo for a week, where we dove daily on their reef system. This park offers an abundance of fish and wildlife. Great diving! We stayed in a beachfront home with fabulous views where Steve would paint in the afternoon.

It was a very quiet and relaxing trip…except for the rather large cockroaches, and the scorpion I stepped on. We were living wild! The boys went fishing one day and brought home some great fresh fish we feasted on for days. They have great snorkeling on the reef close to shore, although it was a bit windy when we were there.

Finally, we just returned from a weekend in Lompoc for a wedding. We stayed in a rented home with our sons Drew and Kenny, Drew’s wife MaryGrace, and my grandchildren Theo and Poppy. We had an absolute blast. Lots of hamburgers and laughs! The wedding was held at the Jalama Canon Ranch and was a stunning setting under old oak trees.

The drive out to Jalama Beach is long and windy, but well worth it to see. Go to for camping or cabin reservations. The Jalama Beach Store and Grill is famous for its hamburgers. Hence all the burgers we had on this trip.


We have spent a lot of time this year dining and playing at the Dana Point Yacht Club. Our new friends are all adventurous and interesting. It is a great place with fabulous food, views and parties. Great fun for all!


I lost my dear friend Susan Green on Labor Day. We did lots of traveling together over the years, shared all kinds of adventures, and worked together as well. It is still a fresh loss to me. Lucky for me, she attended our wedding but fell ill after she returned home. I have plenty of marvelous and funny memories of her. And I know she will always be with me.

We also lost our beloved cat Bagheera who was age 17. He is still missed.

Happy Fall to all! Remember to live life to its fullest every day! And, Go Trojans! Find a new coach quick!