Wreath Making

I make wreaths of native and greenery available on the ranch.
Last Christmas I sold them at Rogers Gardens, but I will have them at
a tree lot in Dana Point.

They are wild and fun, not your plastic $179 wreath from Target or Hobby Lobby

I sell them wholesale for $20 and $45 for anything you order. The size is from twenty inches
to forty. Every one is different. Some have long needle pine, olives, toyon berries (used by Native people as tea), lemons or oranges with cloves, rosemary, lavender, sage and pine cones.
They smell wonderful. They are all organic and decompose very easily. The frame is wild grape.
Even the wire turns to dust.

Here are a few unfinished. They will have velvet ribbons and more wild fruits before I deliver them.
A few friends an family get one dropped on the doorstep as if Santa stopped by on black friday.
I'm not into selling Christmas as big mall stuff.

Use what greenery surrounds you.
I start with grape vines and wire them.
I allow them to dry in shapes then remove
the wire.


On Guard

Be on guard for hackers. It’s hard to keep secure in the digital age. Don’t give any application your real date of birth- Facebook, Apple, and social media apps do not need your Private information. They sell your behaviors and habits online.

If you use a cell phone for banking, Venmo, email or work Outlook notifications you are vulnerable.

On your desktop/ laptop be aware. Allowing Google Cloud Identity, Okta, One Login, Last Pass Enterprise. CA SSO, Sailpoint Identity Now, Microsoft, or companies that manage and secure user authentication in applications, website web services and into devices puts you at risk. These companies hold a cheat sheet of passwords online. The best protection is to use different and complex passwords and to change them once a month.

Email accounts can be hacked. Don’t send bank statements, paperwork with your social security number and date of birth unless you can encrypt the send email. Delete the thousands of old emails stored in your account. 

When an email arrives from an unknown sender, don’t click on the attachments. When you see an email from Apple or your bank name try and reply to the email and see if the email address is indeed who they say they are. If the email is reportapplexyq~”{  you can see the email address looks wrong. If it feels wrong, don’t answer. If you get an email from your bank account to change the password DO NOT click on the link. Call the Bank and double check.

When wiring funds for a real estate transaction. Call the lender, call the escrow company more than once to triple check the account information.
It is easier to protect yourself with cumbersome passwords than to try and make a claim to get the money back.

C G Caroline Gerardo Barbeau
Mortgage Banker CMG FI
NMLS 324982
(949) 784- 9699


California Go Solar

Wichita Line Man Says Go Solar
Californians are at the mercy of Energy Companies. Do you recall when Enron defrauded California and contributed to the energy crisis? Our system is more fragile than it was in 2002. 
What will happen if your utility company turns off the power for a few days or a week? P G and E refused this week to give a household even one hundred dollars for the loss of all the food in their refrigerator and other hardships.
Power in California is supplied to your business or home from “the grid.” Wind, water, natural gas and solar systems are converted by electric power generators that are fueled by natural gas. Sounds complex. In turn the gas grid relies on electric powered compressors and pumping stations. Our system is old, mostly dates to the 1950’s. Power companies have not updated lines and cut trees and obstacles in the path of the lines.
If the power goes down long enough you will also be without water and natural gas. Gas stations for your vehicle will also close. Not meaning to sound doomsday; but you won’t be going to work, if you have health issues this will most likely be during a fire, heat wave or earthquake and daily life will be hard.
If you own your home and you plan to stay there more than four years, I encourage you to research solar. The type of solar you want is off grid solar that does not connect to the public utility company. Solar has greatly improved. There are twenty options for battery systems varying in price from three thousand dollars to ten thousand dollars depending on type, space, and storage needed.

In researching your solar contractor, you want really to inspect them carefully. Check the contractor’s license with the state board, better business bureau, references, your local lender who does construction loans. It may be necessary to upgrade your roof, add support for possible earthquake. Add protection under the eaves for fire prevention and so forth.

Fire season is year-round, this is California we love our State; but being ready is everything. Don’t expect our government local, state or Federal to figure this out. It is our job to protect our families and homes.

If you need advice or recommendations, please call me. I don’t work for a solar company and make nothing referring you.

I've designed and installed a few.
C G  (949) 784- 9699 
Caroline Gerardo Barbeau
NMLS 324982


Contractor Dizzy? 203k Home Loan Close Easy

As purchase or refinance

203k FHA

Does the HomeStyle product have Certificate of Occupancy requirements like the 203k?  For instance, can a borrower purchase a home that is 75% built and current owner can't or doesn't want to finish construction?
The HomeStyle product requires the home to be 90% completed at the time of purchase.

Is there a $5000 repair minimum requirement for a refi with the 203K Limited product?
There is no $5000 requirement minimum or any minimum on an FHA 203k Limited. 

Is the Borrower allowed to change contractors if they are unhappy with the work?
It is very challenging to change contractors as money has been paid to contractors and is difficult to retract.  The contractor needs to complete the work as per the agreement.  But they can change contractors after closing if that is needed. If you change contractors the first one can lien the project and place a cloud one title. It is difficult to determine how much the first contractor is owed, how much work completed may be subjective and difficult to prove. I once had a construction project where the contractor had a heart attack on site. He didn't die on site, his wife tried to save the job while he was hospitalized a couple weeks. His work was good. The bond was not enough to complete. Check out your contractor carefully- check recent jobs, find your own references. Chicken Ron says don't be caught with a contractor who doesn't show, shows up dizzy, or can't see the wall from the door. Chicken Ron puts his head dress in a pony tail because he knocks things over.

What happens if the work done by the contractor doesn’t pass inspection?
This rarely happens but it does happen!  The contractors are vetted and sometimes there are disputes on how things are done.  If the project is completed in an acceptable condition, they will be paid. If the work is not acceptable, we will withhold payment until it is acceptable as per the Appraiser or Inspector. Shoddy work is a nightmare. You thought you would be complete on time. Time costs money.

When using the 203K Limited product can you use big box stores like Home Depot to do the work?
Yes!  This happens all the time.  For major companies like Home Depot, special rules are in place for documentation and in some cases the documentation requirements are less.

If there is only one contractor, then there will be only one draw, correct?
Yes, that is exactly right.  If there is a general contractor with sub-contractors, the general contractor is responsible for paying those sub-contractors.

Is Land Gorilla a required company or does FNMA require that Land Gorilla be used on all HomeStyle loans?
FNMA requires to use an experienced Homestyle draw management and review company.  We chose Land Gorilla.  They are our third-party contractor for Homestyle loans ONLY.

C G Barbeau NMLS 324982   (949) 784-9699