The Real Land of Opportunity

Buying a home is a rite of passage in the Land of Opportunity but in big cities, that is happening less and less frequently. Younger generations are looking at the current real estate market and realizing their dollar can go so much further in the country than in overcrowded cities. This exodus to suburban, interior states has spurned an uptick in the real estate market around the country. It’s a seller’s year to be sure but what does this mean when property is in conflict? What happens if there’s a dispute over title, or an owner decides to rent their property instead of selling? Landlordship is not as regal or glamorous as the feudal name may imply. It is important now more than ever for property owners to receive adept legal counsel as they venture into new avenues of property management. This week’s small business spotlight is Burris Law in California, specializing in estate planning, business, and real estate law.


In a seller’s market, many home owners are trying to make the most out of their investment and that’s where transaction guidance is needed. Most real estate investors rely on their agent to guide them through the process but where and agent’s knowledge fails is where a trusted legal advisor steps in to guide an investor to a safe deal.

The second, perhaps more important part of a real estate transaction is not the change of ownership, but the protection of the real property asset after the purchase. If a residential property is not enumerated in a trust, it is eligible for probate if the owner were to pass. If a commercial property is not entrusted to an LLC or other entity, then the death of an owner can wreak havoc on a company beyond the already perilous need for key-man replacement. This is where Burris Law is a cut above the competition by offering business law and estate planning law under the same roof. From incorporation and purchase to dissolution, sale, and end of life Burris law protects the most valuable assets that individuals can own.

Navigating treacherous legal waters without adequate counsel can leave many homeowners in turmoil. With the guidance of Burris Law, numerous informed real estate investors now have a way to maneuver through the transaction process without the complications of real estate brokerages. Check out what Katherine had to say:

Jason was phenomenal!

I decided to sell my home by owner however, I needed a real estate attorney to assist me with reviewing documents and ensuring I was protected.  I needed a real estate attorney quick, and Jason was there!  I had a meeting set up with him within 24 hours and from the moment we signed a contract to the moment I closed escrow, Jason was there.  No matter the day or time, he would respond via email or phone call.  If he wasn’t able to get to what I needed right then and there, he would acknowledge receipt and give me an estimate time of when he would be available to respond.  Jason was also proactive and would check in with me every now and then to ensure I didn’t need anything.  Not knowing what I was doing, Jason and Burris Law gave me the assurance and confidence I needed in order for a smooth sale.  I highly recommend Jason and Burris Law for your Real Estate Attorney needs!


It is the distinct journalistic pleasure of our Clute Institute local business review to feature the legal team at Burris Law. Keep up the good work. Visit their contact information below


Burris Law

1420 East Chapman Avenue,
Orange, CA 92866
(714) 941-8122

What does your address say about you

What does your address say about you

What does curb appeal really mean anymore? Certainly it starts with “Oh wow” and solidified by unidenfied, subconsious details a potential buyer picks up on a property. Things like lawn manicuring, window framing, roof angle. None of these things are inherently ‘nice’ or even expensive yet they make almost all the difference in a market where everything is 3500 square feet with 4 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms. Home appraisers are supposed to be objective and formulaic in how they assign dollar values but humans by nature are not objective or formulaic. Put an appraiser in a stunning spanish villa with marble, teak and sconces everywhere – but make it smell like rotten produce – and you bet your value is going down the tubes.

All that in mind, the only thing you can’t change about a house are it’s physical location, so make that decision definitive and buy the cheapest piece of garbage you can get with the word ‘upgrade’ in mind. Don’t believe me? Look up the statistics of home values located within walking distance of a cinnabon and you will be floored by what you find. Buy the zip code, the local shops/bars/schools, and the proximity to freeways. Everything else is subject to change. People down in south county value their living based on extremely arbitrary details. For example, would you ever expect a single bridge to make or break the value of a community?

LAGUNA NIGUEL – A bridge that delivers a popular shortcut between Aliso Viejo and Laguna Niguel will remain open to one way traffic for at least the next 45 days despite an announcement last week that it could be shut.

Officials with the South Orange County Wastewater Authority, which possesses the AWMA Bridge, said March 10 that it would shut the bridge because of concerns about its stability.

The bridge joins Alicia Parkway in Laguna Niguel to the Laguna Niguel position centre of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park and Aliso Viejo’s Wood Canyon neighborhood (including Wood Canyon Elementary and Community Roots Academy).

SOCWA is looking to provide the bridge to the county along with $1 million to rebuild it. However, the Board of Supervisors chosen to not make a choice on the suggestion of the bureau, and closed door discussions on Wednesday didn’t afford a selection on bridge’s future.

In a last ditch effort to maintain the bridge open, the county and SOCWA agreed Friday to keep the bridge open until May 5 to enable property negotiations to continue. No date has been set for the next discussion meeting.

“SOCWA will continue to finance the security at the bridge to monitor the safe use,” said General Manager Betty Burnett. “However, that is not a long-term option, and when the Bridge Plan or another mutually satisfactory arrangement isn’t reached in the additional dialogue period, then the bridge will have to be closed.”

A 2010 SOCWA assessment discovered that the bridge was becoming less stable over time. In 2014, the county pegged the expense of replacing the bridge at $3.8 million.

Since March 2015, the bridge has been restricted to one-way traffic into Aliso Viejo, and bridge access has been limited by a SOCWA guard to one car at a time.


Pretty crazy how much home value is assigned to its surroundings isn’t it?

Fortunately for Laguna Niguel and Aliso Viejo new home buyers, the communities hold their value regardless of details like bridges and cinnamon roll bakeries. Take the In n Out from Auburn and you’re left with a wasteland. But Laguna Niguel without the tiny bridge is just slightly less desirable. I’m sure the residents can comfort themselves by looking around at the endless restaurants, art galleries, palm trees and rolling green hills.

Take a look at the two places mentioned above


Overview of Laguna Niguel's most valuable resource: real estate

Curb appeal means more with the write zip code. Laguna Niguel home owners know that

Here are a couple more homes for sale in Laguna Niguel


This one is a great bargain and prime for a fixup and resale at 4 times the value


Happy home hunting and remember where real value originates: between the left and right ear. Buy the location, not the home.

Where Mastery Originates

10,000 hours is a common measurement for mastering a task. Results are a much better way to really track prowess for two reasons. First, ten thousand hours can be phoned in. Sure some skill has to sink in even when practiced half heartedly but imagine all of the ingrained inefficiencies and bad habits that that over a year of hours can instill!  It’s a mistake to assume that mere time makes mastery unless consistency is the goal. Consistency is really only useful for programmable assembly-line logic. Consider how many ‘quality control’ managers exist all over the world and how many ‘experts’ exist among them. They can expertly perform their job but does that make them an expert in the product they inspect? A holistic view of that product would probably yield different results that only a few CEOs and inventors can appreciate – taking an idea to profit to growth. Forbes had an interesting article on how to grow a small business that pointed out the value of building a business from content up. Whether or not that business succeeds is a far better indicator of the founder’s skill than how long she spent working it. Take for example, the real estate niche where there are about a million realtors all over the country claiming to be experts in their market. Many of whom point to their age and time in the industry as indicators of their mastery. Would you consider a seasoned agent with 15 years of experience selling homes to be an expert? Sure. What about the agent who has spent 2 years dominating the Hollywood Hills housing market and claimed a 35% marketshare for himself in the most expensive real estate in the country? Most would call that expertise as well but he may not have spent anywhere close to 10 thousand hours.

Maybe the answer falls somewhere in between where being a local expert matters only so long as results are on par for the industry over time. Master – maybe. Veteran – certainly. Imagine your real estate brokerage has been around for 4 years, fairly new in your competitive market but selling Aliso Viejo realty has never been a cake walk. By that point you should have a good idea of your typical buyers, sellers and what agents need to do to close typical homes. Now figure you’ve got a prospect that steps into the office who wants to buy a home but has never been in the position to buy a new mattress let alone a home. Those oddball situations require problem solving and genuine expertise beyond what the routine can instill. As Mr. Gates points out, the person who makes it to 10,000 hours just happens to be more fanatical about the craft than her peers. An agent that answers the same phone calls and sells the same neighborhoods for years is not necessarily passionate and therefore becomes more of a veteran than a master. To really master a craft like dominating a local market in real estate, passion and drive are the real keys.
Moral of the story, don’t buy a home from any hokey old agent who says they’ve been doing it for a long time. Work with the agent that moves houses like Sprinkles moves cupcakes because they’re certainly more passionate and success-driven. A real estate master agent should be able to file paperwork at light speed without a single papercut and close a home sale without breaking a sweat. Don’t settle for anything less.

The Devils in the Details

So the new Avengers trailer is out the buzz is deafening. No one can wait to see what masterpiece marvel has cooked up this time. The last movie brought in 10 figures at box office but can Joss Whedon pull of the ultimate form of cash invention again? The comics franchise has arguably created some of the most gripping (and intricate) stories ever written so it becomes the job of the renowned writers and director to unwind the ball of string and chose the line to follow for recreating one of the most successful hero-villain arcs in the history of the comic.  As I’m sure the writers are already blindingly aware, the devil’s in the details of a movie like Avengers. When you get a mashup of characters and fans with generations of hard copy to reference, things can get ugly if every frame is not perfect. Accordingly, it looks like Whedon and the crew are really doing their homework and releasing the trailers in response to the various fan outcries.

In a similar vein of detail oriented design for master plans, the news cannot stop talking about the continually rising price of gas. Obviously the market could not slide much longer even though it was luxurious while it lasted. As prices start to rebound, the industry is booming with new land plays and the details of the necessity of oil and gas legal services in Texas while the courthouse obligations start to pile up. If I had to choose between being the director of an ultra-(or should I say ultron)-blockbuster-(or should I say hulkbuster) film like Avengers and being an oil and gas attorney given the heat of the market right now, I’d choose the ultron-hulkbuster ten times out of ten. Detail management that has legal repercussions seems far more important when tectonic plates like energy companies are at play seems like enough stress to turn you green in no time.

To be fair, every community niche has it’s armageddon. Ever felt like working in the post office on Dec 22nd? How about the dive bar during the title fight. Similarly, the whole country barrels down to laguna during the early spring to catch the sunshine fever that California invariably offers year after year. In Laguna Hills, the crowds tend to slow in awe of the beautiful homes around them after a long lazy day at the beach. Real estate agents tend to take this time to spring into action (no pun intended) and even the blind squirrels among them tend to find a nut or two. But the best real estate agents recognize the opportunity and close deals right and left. It’s about as stressful as being a salmon fisherman during spawning season. Managing the needs of home buyers looking to purchase their own home for a sale in Laguna Hills. Any agent can read the MLS and find a house in the right price range but few agents can really find the home for a family AND make both parties feel like they are getting the right price. That kind of skill separates the agents from the weekenders. The devil’s in the details in any field and whether it be the giants like film, finance, oil and gas, or real estate or even smaller markets like jewelry sales, know your niche and the critics will be trampled by the fans. Meanwhile the market churns on and real estate cycles continue and Laguna Niguel stays beautiful.
Laguna Niguel and local communities like Laguna Hills are worth their weight in gold if listed properly