Thursday, January 17, 2019

Incredible Interest Rates As Of January 17, 2019

I'm actually really surprised about interest rates. But nothing in Real Estate completely stuns me anymore! 17 years of helping people, one constant....Real Estate is always changing!

Every expert told me we'd be in the 6's this year....well, look below....with a 740 FICO....what killer rates we are still seeing.

YOUR SITUATION WILL DIFFER FROM SOME, BETTER OR WORSE......TALK TO ONE OF MY PREFERRED LENDERS AND SEE WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY.....
Then, let's get in the car and find you a home!

  • 30-year fixed conventional 1st Mortgage with 20% down - 4.625% (4.684 APR). Loan amounts up to $484,350.00 = $2490.23
  • 15-year fixed conventional 1st Mortgage with 20% - 4.125% (4.227 APR). Loan amounts up to $484,350.00 = $3613.09
  • 5/1 ARM 1st Mortgage -  20% down - Fixed for 5 years and then becomes variable - 3.875% -  (3.895 APR) Loan amounts up to $3,000,000.00 = $14,107.11
  • 7/1 ARM 1st Mortgage - 20% Fixed for 7 years and then becomes variable - 4.000% - (4.009 APR) Loan amounts up to $3,000,000.00 = $14,322.46
  • 10/1 ARM 1st Mortgage - 20% Fixed for 10 years and then becomes variable - 4.125% - (4.135 APR) Loan amounts up to $3,000.,000.00 = $14,539.49
  • 30-year fixed 1st Mortgage FHA loan 3.50% down - 4.125% (5.521 APR). Loan amounts up to $484,350.00 = $2388.48 + $349.08 PMI = $2737.56
  • 30-year fixed 1st Mortgage VA loan 0% - 4.250% (4.308 APR). Loan amounts up to $484,350.00 = $2382.71
  • 30-year fixed 1st Mortgage Jumbo loan 20% down - 4.375% (4.386 APR). Loan amounts up to $3,000,000.00 = $14,978.56


Absolutely Freaking Incredible!!! 


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

How To Get Buyer & Seller to Agree?

There is so much negotiation that goes on in a Real Estate sale. From the moment a Buyer expresses interest to the day it closes escrow, there are several areas that must be agreed upon.

The first, of course, is the price. The Buyers agent provides their client with all the data about homes that have closed nearby that are similar to the one they are interested in. The Sellers agent provided those very same bits of info when they were first discussing list price.

Seller wants to get the most. Buyer wants to pay the least. If a buyer comes in ridiculously low, doubtful the Seller will accept. If the seller gets an offer that is pretty good, but not quite there, negotiation takes place.

So, they agree on a price. Then comes the appraisal and inspections. Both are to protect the buyer(s). Both can make seller(s) tense.

So, let's say the appraisal comes in low. Is the property over-priced? Did the appraiser use all the data accurately? Buyer & Seller must work through that difference in price. Many ways to make that happen.

Inspections show damage that was not apparent to the naked eye. Shows systems that aren't functioning correctly. Among many other things. Buyer wants to have seller fix, Seller says AS-IS.

I'm smirking while I type this! So, the answer to the subject line? Honestly? Depends on the motivation, and sometimes pride, of each side.


I have to bring my client back to the reason they are buying or selling the home. Is a thousand dollars in repairs worth canceling on their dream home when they've already spent close to a thousand dollars on appraisal and inspections? If they appraisal comes in 35k low? Walk off in a huff? Not if it's the home you need to sell to get to your next one. You figure out where the deficit is, how much you're willing to give.....both Seller & Buyer.

If my Seller is smart & motivated, they understand that a little bit of money now gets them to their next destination they desire. Buyers need to be educated a bit more it seems. And, with more inventory coming on the market, Sellers need to be ready to bend more than the most recent home sales market.

Keep in mind, it's not a battle, it's a discussion. A way to get both sides what they want. That's where your Realtor goes to bat for you. Makes a Win-Win situation happen for everybody. Gets the Buyer their new home, gets the Seller sold.

If you'd like to know some of my personalized techniques for negotiations, just ask. I'm happy to share with you my strategies.





Thursday, January 10, 2019

Get Ready For This Years New Design Trends!

Yes, Yes, Yes, I read a great Houzz article tonight and wanted to share with you!

For the full read, click here:


I saw so many things I wanted to grab pictures of but too many to search for! This one particular kitchen back splash, from the article, was worth the search. Probably the fave thing from them all!


That abstract back splash may be hard to keep clean, but oh, I think, it's soo cool!

This one, steel/glass interior doors...better photo in the article. 
I like it too, but maybe not that color steel?


32 different design trends. Kitchens, Bathrooms, Living/Dining. I was surprised to see the deep blue island back. It was in, then out, but it's coming back again!

Not so sure about all that wood on wood concept either. But, oh, LOVE, the kitchen fully open to the outside. I definitely want that in my next house.

Hope you click on the above link and scroll through every supposed trend for this year.

I can't wait to see some of them in your homes!


Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Total Home Sales For Santa Clarita Valley 2018

We're just over a week into 2019! Wowza! Who thought we'd already have flying cars by now? Who thought the world would be so different?

Real Estate is a pretty constant though!

Santa Clarita had another healthy year....we genuinely always seem to. We are a lovely community!

I include Acton, Agua Dulce, Canyon Country, Saugus, Valencia, Newhall, Stevenson Ranch, Castaic, & Val Verde.

Total sales in 2018? 3726


Oh, golly no, I didn't sell all those homes myself!

I did help with quite a few though. We have over 1000 Realtors just in Santa Clarita. So there are a lot that helped get that number up there. 

In 2017 we closed 4277, which means 2018 was a little over 10% less than the year before. What do I attribute that to? Lack of inventory, change in interest rates.

For 2019 we will see continued growth of inventory! WAHHHHOOOOOOO!!!!! And, although interest rates crept back down again at the end of 2018, we are still expecting higher rates this year.

As always, your time to buy or sell a home.....is your time. No one can make the right decision but you. I can help guide you through the decision making process though. Don't hesitate to reach out to me for any questions you may have.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Beautification Things To Do In Preparation Of Selling Your Home?

I subscribe, and pay for, a service that sends me pre-written blog-type articles. I share the ones that I find worthy of sharing. I write my own, I YouTube as well.

Today I woke up thinking it was time to blog about home improvements to complete prior to selling. Lo & Behold, what do I find in my inbox this morning? One of my paid-for articles....yep, talking about Return on Investment for items completed prior to listing your home for sale.

(This Was From My Paid Article ~ Source HGTV)

Now, trust me on this, you absolutely do NOT have to do all those things to get the best price!!  But, let's face it...inventory is growing....you best be ready to do a bit of tweaking to your current home to appeal to as many buyers as possible.

I am going to let you in on a little secret.....ask me, your trusted Realtor, what you should do to prep your house for sale. Yep, I'm the one who should be telling you what to do, not some TV show, not an article you read from a Realtor in Ohio. Not Zillow, not Redfin, nope. No one but me should be telling you what you need to do to prep your house for sale.

Why you ask? Because I am the one that knows your local market. I'm the one that works with buyers and sellers all the time. I know what helps sell, and what doesn't.

My ultimate job is to net you the most amount of money on the sale of your home. If I think a fresh coat of paint is warranted, do it. If I think that green tile should be changed, do it. If I think that a new shower is not necessary, listen to me. Take out the grass & install turf?.....listen to my answer.

Two quick stories. Two listing appointments last year, both were given a laundry list of things to do prior to putting the home on the market. I did not get those listings. Other agents did. I can tell from photos on one that they did not follow my suggestions....it's still for sale. The other, I am close with the agent the seller selected & I know the seller did not follow my suggestions either. Three months after listed, seller took it off market.

The housing market is definitely changing. 2019 will be different from the last few years. Anyone thinking about selling their home? Really need to be on board with what an experienced Realtor tells you to do prior to listing for sale.....just sayin'.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Santa Clarita & Surrounding Communities ~ Sales Activity December 2018

It's Sunday morning, December 30th, 2018. 10:02 am to be exact. I've done my morning routine, well not all, still need to lift a few weights, do some squats, ab work too.....

But, sharing with you the home sales activity in my town from the last 30 days.

Everyone watching knows the inventory has climbed, sales have slowed down, interest rates are moving.

A comparison of sorts was wise so here you go! Yes, including Acton, Agua Dulce, Canyon Country, Saugus, Valencia, Newhall, Stevenson Ranch, Castaic, and Val Verde.


Right now we have 609 homes active for sale. Townhouses, Condos, Single Family Residences. 2017 that number was 379.

Under contract, meaning in escrow, we have 274...same time last year? we had 413. Big difference, right?

Sold in the last 30 days, 236. In 2017, that number was 287.

When I first started helping people sell homes, you could stick a sign in the ground and it would sell. Over the last 17 years the market has changed a number of times & I've been able to help people through all the different challenges.

In 2019 the market will definitely continue to stabilize. I'm watching it with a magnifying glass, for your benefit.

But, and I say this with the utmost honesty, I help you when the time is right for you. I don't have clients chase the market. I have clients that sell for their own reasons, buy for the reasons that make sense to them. I work with families, single people, young, older (notice I didn't say old!), I help anyone that wants my help.

And, I will take care of my peeps like no other. My support staff is far above the rest. My ethics are equal to none. My shoulders have the strength of Aquaman to carry your stress during one of the most important times of your lives.



I'm here for you. www.KeepYourWitz.com. Lauren@KeepYourWitz.com. YouTube. Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. I'm here, there, everywhere. Whatever it takes for you to find me and for me to take care of you.


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Some Reasons Why A House Won't Sell in a Strong Market

As we approach the end of the year, many homeowners find themselves asking the question, “If we’re currently in a strong real estate market, why won’t my house sell?


Below are the 5 most common reasons why a listing contract will expire:

1. The Price

Sometimes when the market is hot, homeowners attempt to set their listing price higher. Their hope is that a motivated buyer will be willing to pay any price for a house in their desired neighborhood! Sellers must remember, though, that in today’s market a house must be sold twice; first to the buyer and then to their bank.
A buyer can agree to pay the homeowner’s asking price, but after the bank conducts their appraisal, the price might need to be adjusted. The bank will only give the buyer a mortgage for the value of determined in the appraisal.
Sellers must also keep in mind that today’s homebuyers are well-educated. Before they look to buy a house, they have already seen many houses online. They’ve done their research on the neighborhoods they are interested in, including information on the school districts in the area.
They will know if your house seems overpriced and will not waste their time considering it. This is why it’s so important to make sure that your home is priced right from day one on the market!

2. The Condition of the House

In many areas, builders are taking advantage of the lack of inventory of homes for sale by building new houses. These newly constructed homes create competition for existing homes in the market. For this reason, many homeowners are making renovations and updates to their homes to compete with the new construction in their marketplace.
Most agents recommend that homeowners declutter their houses before putting them on the market. Buyers want to be able to imagine themselves living in the home instead of focusing on the current homeowner’s decor.
It’s important to take care of the small problems like dripping faucets and torn screens, while also remembering to remove any posters hanging in your teenager’s bedroom. Making sure your home is in perfect condition will make buyers fall in love with it and will ultimately help you get the right price for your house!

3. Seller’s Motivation

Why did the seller put their house on the market in the first place? Is the seller’s motivation still the same as it was when they first listed?
If homeowners are really motivated to sell, they will make sure their houses are both priced right and in good condition. The seller’s motivation will push them to consider all offers and help them make the right decision for their family’s future.

4. Marketing Plan

Having a marketing plan is important! According to NAR’s 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 95% of buyers searched online for a home last year. The days of looking for a newspaper ad or yard sign in your preferred neighborhood are over.
If you want to sell your home, you need a real estate professional who understands your local market and knows how to promote your home online. Something as simple as using pictures taken by a professional photographer can make a huge impact in advertising your home!

5. Lack of Communication with Your Agent

Keeping an open line of communication with your agent is crucial in getting your home sold with the least amount of hassles, in the right amount of time, and for the right price! From the beginning, establish a continuous line of communication with your agent, and make sure you review your agreement often to see if any changes need to be made. For example, adjusting the selling price!

Bottom Line

There are houses selling every single day because they are listed at the right price, they have the right marketing plan, and they are staged for the sale. If for some reason your home didn’t sell and you’re still motivated to get it sold, let’s get together to figure out the reason your house isn’t selling!