Friday, January 13, 2017

Don't Put The Cart Before The Horse

When you're thinking about moving, and it involves buying a home, try very hard not to put the cart before the could be setting yourself up for disappointment.

Let's say you want to sell your home and buy bigger, or maybe smaller. You know you have equity in your home, but you still have to take a loan out to purchase the next house. Talk to a lender, banker, mortgage broker.....first.

If you want to buy a home....and you've never bought one before, or it's been a long time since you purchased to a lender, banker, mortgage broker first.

If you go out and look at homes, and you fall in love with one? Well, guess what? You can't even write an offer on that home without having been financially analyzed by a good lender. No agent/seller will ever consider an offer on a home as a valid offer unless there is a pre-approval letter with it. And, don't get a fake one....heartbreak can easily follow that deception.

Now, don't get me wrong, I've taken buyers out to look at a few homes while they are working through the pre-approval situation. But, I've always told people that you need to know for sure you can spend as much as you think...or maybe even a bit more...before you fall in love.

Just my two cents for today!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Winter Home Sales

It's about that time again. When I blog about the last 30 days sales and current inventory!

SCV.....Awesometown and our surrounding communities.

Active right as of this morning?
460. 432 of those are Traditional Sellers, so 95% of the active inventory are regular people selling regular homes....if the agent has entered it in the MLS correctly.

Under Contract/Pending? i.e. in Escrow?
426. 370 of those are real people selling homes. So, that's interesting, right? About 85% are Standard the MLS says.

And, of course, Sold in the last 30 days?
234. 222 were Standard sales....what's that 95% again? Yup, sure is.

Am I wigged out about the low inventory? No, not really. It's dang cold outside, we just finished with the holiday season.

It's only 68 days til Spring. If the inventory is this low then? That's going to be rough. But, it won't be, trust me on that. I've got a few people prepping their homes for sale in the next couple of months. I'll add to the inventory for us!

If you have questions about real estate, anywhere in Southern California, just ask!

Monday, January 2, 2017

All This Whining About Millennials!

I'm focusing on housing. The whining about how difficult it's going to be for Millennials. How their desire to be a homeowner has fallen.

I may get slack for this...but sheesh! It was really hard when I was their age to get a home too. Hard for my mom, when she was a single mother of three, to find a home.

Each generation, Millennials, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Greatest Generation, Gen Y (that's some made up one)....they all had some type of struggles. Every single one of them.

Why are we so focused on the M gen? I honestly don't know.

Well, maybe because they seem to be the biggest/longest generation. Maybe because all of us Baby Boomers are their parents? Maybe because the technology of 'their' generation is talking about them?

I am laughing as I'm writing this. But, really, let's stop whining about them, about who they are, about their expectations. They have to make their way. Just like we did. They will buy a home, when they can afford to buy a home. They will have children, when they want to have children. Just Like We Did. They will find their way in the world....just like every generation has before them.

Each with struggles, some worse, some better. All with something that created who they are. Made their name in history.

For me, and anyone related to housing...let's just help them when they are ready. That's the best we can do. No blood squeezed from a turnip (or is it a stone?) over here. I'll be ready when they are.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Moving Into A New Year!

Here it is, Friday December 30th, 2016. Going out with my last client for the year this afternoon. A new client though, so we'll get something going for 2017! She already has a buyer for her home and wants to move into a larger home closer to the freeway. I can do that!

I work alone, no buyers agent, no sellers agent, no in house escrow coordinator or office manager. I did, finally, hire a freelance transaction coordinator this year. She has been a wonderful addition!

My business year was FANTASTIC. No complaints at all. With basically just little ole me, I managed to help 20 people move in and out of homes for 2016. Trust me, that's a lot!

So, I appreciate those that put their faith in me. Some were repeat clients, some old friends, some referred to me by people that have confidence in my skills as a Realtor.

I do surround myself with an excellent team of affiliates. My favorite escrow team, home inspector, title, home warranty, lenders. Without them I can't take care of my clients to the degree I, and they, expect!

Sunday starts 2017. Sheesh, I am in awe that we are already coming to that awe.

The reason for this post? Just to say Thank You to my clients, friends, family, affiliates. Those that have helped me through an extremely difficult personal situation, and still continue to know that I will never shirk my duty to them while we are working on one of the most important decisions of their life.

As I say, and my peeps know this, Onward & Forward. May 2017 bring all of us what we need & love. And, of course, if you know someone that wants to buy or sell in 2017, I'll take great care of the responsibility you bestow upon me when you give them my name!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Closets, Closets, Closets!

I don't know any woman that doesn't like a walk-in closet. Nope, not a single one. And, I've yet to meet a man that is not impressed with a well done & organized walk-in closet/storage system as well.

My townhouse has a spectacularly organized closet, complete with tie rack, belt holder, purse shelf, shoe rack, drawers, etc. Unfortunately I don't live there anymore. That's a rental property now.

Our current home has a huge walk-in closet....but just closet rods, shelves that were put in by the builder and a couple dressers we tossed in when we first bought our current home. I kept thinking I would do the super-duper closet storage thing....some day. But, alas, I still haven't....some day....maybe.....

But, I share with you some of the items I love in large, systematized, closets....for my dream closet!

We've all seen the center closet island. Love, yes
....but, love the windows more!

I don't wear a lot of make-up, but I do like this mirrored make-up station.

Right now I sit on the edge of my tub to put my shoes on, 
that little sitting spot is pretty sweet though.

And, instead of taking up space in the closet...
how about using the space between the walls for shoe storage near an exit door?!?!?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

First Buyer Escrow to Crash & Burn & More!

I've been at this for almost 15 years. I had two of my buyers withdraw their offers within 24 hours of acceptance years ago. I had a buyer cancel on my Seller once, after they had removed all their contingencies, long time ago on that one too. Yes, Seller kept the buyers deposit, that was part of the contract.

Last week, one of my clients had their lender fail in their duties to provide the loan they had pre-approved them for. Very late in the escrow....but, before my clients had removed their loan contingency.

It wasn't one of my preferred lenders, it was an on-line lender. Ugh. Last time I worked with one of those it was a challenge, but with a lot of pestering, we got it done. So, I told my clients I was up for the challenge!

The pre-approval seemed aok. They were just finishing up a refi, the lender had all their income documentation for that, right? I sure thought they did. Then, on the purchase, just before we should have been removing final contingencies...lender threw a wrench in the works & said we had to change loan programs to make this work.

Long story short, it did not work. 
So, Crash & Burn.....

Quite honestly, that's not the point of this post. The listing agent.....and the sellers selected escrow....that's the point. And, it's something a prospective Seller needs to be completely aware of.

So, here is the guts ~

1) Escrow was not contingent upon the Seller getting a replacement property. During the inspection, Seller told us she was moving out of state and, if my memory serves me, buying some land to build a home. Nice. Good for her, right? 

2) HOA Documents are in the contract as whomever is supposed to pay any upfront fee, does it within a specified time period. Well, the Seller didn't, her escrow company fronted the 500+ smackers to order the docs.

3) Listing agent did not follow the time lines in the contract....for our contingency removal. 

4) Seller apparently put a non-refundable deposit on an apartment and airline ticket....before we removed all our contingencies.

5) Now, since we crashed & singed, listing agents preferred lender tried to see if he could make it happen. Yesterday we found out he could not due to the amount of cash needed to close in his complete burn on this escrow.

The finale? Seller signed our contract cancellation instructions, escrow let us know about the fact that they paid the upfront fee, seller is apparently losing a few k cash, and my buyers deposit is being held until we get to some resolution of the HOA upfront doc fee. 

So, prospective Sellers? Hire an agent that follows the contract & monitors the buyers contingency removals. Don't put up moolah on something else unless you know you're in a sure thing. Select an escrow that follows a contract as well.

Waiting for a finish, but as a courtesy, I've offered to pay 1/2 the fee......and, now....I'm doing my favorite thing....waiting for this to get squared away. I'm going to call the escrow company as soon as I finish publishing this to light a fire under their butts.

Can I get a 'Good Luck'?

Friday, December 9, 2016

SCV & Surrounding Communities Housing Sales Activity 12/9/2016

Good morning blog readers! Hope you guys are almost ready for the holidays. We're getting there!

Sales stats today? Acton to the east, Stevenson Ranch to the West, Newhall in the South, and Castaic up North. Those are the areas I'm talking about...and of course the hoods in between!

Active listings in our MLS as of this moment ~ 551

Under contract/in Escrow ~ 501

Closed Escrow in the last 30 days ~ 310

This includes homes, condos, townhouses. Well, anything that is classified in the MLS those ways!

Any questions about Real Estate in So. Cal, just ask!