Friday, July 21, 2017

Fannie DTI to Raise to 50%

I read the article a few weeks ago. But waited to see if it was really happening.

Fannie Mae, biggest money for home mortgages, is raising the Debt-To-Income ratio to 50%.

Yes, from 45 to 50% on July 29th.

Debt-To-Income ratios are one of the calculations used in determining a borrowers ability to repay a mortgage.  How much monthly debt vs. how much monthly income. In other words, can they afford that new mortgage payment on their current salary and still have money left over to spend for daily life?

Well, Fannie Mae has researched and decided that some people can definitely handle that higher DTI ratio. Not everyone, but some. Their justification is it will help more people get into homes.

It's not just DTI though, as two different articles remind us, it's also down payment. They both pointed at the Millennials as the group they were targeting to help buy their first home. And, one distinctly made me laugh when it noted that Millennials are accused of overspending on 'avocado toast' (hey that stuff is tasty!), that they don't have the savings for a down payment anyways so how would the increased DTI really help them get into a home.

And, of course, the other talk swirling is will this lead to another housing bust due to mortgages being given to those that can't repay....this was the final line comment that I smirked at:

At least lenders bother to verify income, demand a down-payment, and check the DTI ratio. There's a big difference between asking the maximum standard for ability to pay and basically not measuring one's ability to pay at all. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

"Nextdoor" Neighborhood Site to Launch Real Estate Ads

I'm a Realtor and I don't even like this.

I belong to one in my community and I noticed an Open House posted on it. Hmmmm, well I do have an open house scheduled this weekend but I just don't want to annoy my neighbors.

I figure, honestly, if they are interested....they are already looking online at, Zillow, Redfin, many sites to find a home for sale and when they are being hosted open. Heck, I even post mine on Twitter & Facebook....which many of my associates do as well.

I like Nextdoor to help my neighbors, with finding dogs, locating packages, offering a referral for a dry cleaner...that kind of thing. If someone is sharing a thief noted on the security camera. Those are important. Maybe a garage sale.

But a House for Sale? An Open House? I just don't like it. And, it's just about the money. Realtors paying for a 'lead', paying for a prime spot on the feed. It's just about money.

I do believe that getting my listings in front of as many eyes as possible is absolutely valuable. Don't get me wrong on that. But, this Nextdoor site was set up to help neighbors, not to sell homes.

If me, a 15 year veteran Realtor doesn't want to see homes for sale on my neighborhoods Nextdoor site, how do the rest of you feel? I think a bunch of us will stop using it, and then there goes the great reason it was set up to begin with. Neighbors networking with and helping each other.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Nope, It's Not A Car Model!

It's the number of active listings today in Santa Clarita Valley
 & our surrounding communities.

Yep, as of July 11, 2017 @ 8:18 am we have 595 active listings in SCV. Acton to the East, Stevenson Ranch to the West. Newhall to the South, Castaic to the North....and everything in between.

Yes, it includes townhouses, condos, and single family homes!

610 currently in escrow. 397 closed escrow in the last 30 days.

I did this count on June 2nd, and active was 543. We have 10% more inventory.

Questions about our market or what your home is worth? Just give me a jingle!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Kitchen Storage Ideas I Hadn't Seen Yet!

I always get excited when house hunting with buyers and we see a well organized kitchen. With soft close drawers/cabinets. Ones that have pull out shelves in the pantry or pot drawers too!

But, these gems....these I haven't seen before & they are so worth sharing!

Okay, how many of us have those canisters on the counter right now?
If we have them in a drawer, they are a tangled mess!

I don't have a lot of linens. Not a table cloth gal. 
But for those of you that are, oh so much better than folded up in a drawer!

THIS is fantabulous! Those pesky things we keep under the sink? 
Hate crawling on the floor to find the ones hidden in the back? 
This would make that issue go away!

Okay, I know...waste an entire drawer for a plug-in place?
Puleeze....this would turn into your junk drawer AND plug-in place!
Love it!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Moving Pieces Is One Thing - Moving Without Breaking A Piece Is Another

About to close an escrow, lucky # 13 for the year, today.

Buyers agent e-mails me yesterday "with all those moving pieces" you made this easy...or something like that. I just re-read his email. 'For all the moving parts, I really enjoyed working with you. I hope we can do it again soon.' See? told ya, something like my first sentence!

But, he's right. We did have a lot of moving parts. A lot of things to put together. A lot of items that had to go just so. 4 homes in a row. One closed escrow about a week after we opened. Box checked off. Another just closed yesterday, box checked off. Mine will close today, box #3 checked off. My peeps purchase, out of state, will close tomorrow or next day. Final box checked off!

We had a ton of open communication between all agents. My escrow talking to all other escrows. Transaction coordinators following paper needs. Sellers & Buyers doing everything in as timely a manner as humanly possible.

With everyone doing what they're supposed to be doing, when they are supposed to be doing it? Moving pieces is exciting vs. annoying!

Happy that this chain of four homes is finishing up as stress-less as possible! With no broken parts at all!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Fights During Your Home Buying Process - How To Keep Them At Bay

They are going to happen. A quarrel, a slight disagreement,
 possibly a full blown argument.

Maybe not quite like the picture, but expect some entanglement with your partner during the home buying process. It's a very stressful time in your life & when tension is high, the likelihood of a spat is higher!

I read an article this morning that said a couple that was together for 5 years or more were less likely to argue during the process.

Well, of course! 5 years, they are much more settled in the relationship. Much more able to handle stressful situations.

But, to help keep the tension at bay, no matter what relationship time-frame you are in...follow these simple rules.

1) Write a list, together & separate, of what you want in a home. A list of 10 things. Expect to get 7, expect those things to change as you progress in the home search.
2) Sit down with your lender...together....on this one together for discuss qualifications & what your monthly payments will be. Make sure you BOTH are comfortable with the numbers.
3) This is the willing to compromise. Funny how that's the most important part in any relationship, right? Compromise.
4) Patience. The biggest rule of all. Be patient. You can't force a situation to happen. 

I don't recommend compromising on your financial decisions. I do recommend compromising on your list of 10 items that you want in a home.

I don't recommend being patient to the tune of expecting to get champagne on a beer budget. But, I do recommend being patient....and find the right home.

Trust me on those 4 rules.....follow my lead...take my guidance.....we'll work together to keep the home buying process as fight-free as possible!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Location, Location, Location - Rental Values

Westridge Valencia....3 bedroom townhouse....rents for 2600-3000.

Canyon Country......3 bedroom house.....rents for about 2200?

But, in West Los Angeles? Mar Vista to be exact? 3 bedroom home.....rents for a minimum of 4000/month!

Holy cow!

We talk about it all the time with purchases. BUT, it doesn't just mean for your personal residence. It means for all your rental properties as well.

Location, location, location.....ever important for ANY real estate purchase!