Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What's A Request for Repairs?

As a Realtor for almost a dozen years now most items on a home sale transaction are pretty basic. I thought you may want to know a bit more about the infamous Request For Repairs.

In the beginning of the escrow process buyers generally will have a professional property inspection. I always recommend it. The inspectors subsequent report will identify to the buyer problems with the home now and possible problems with the home in the future.

The seller may, or may not, repair these items for the buyer. So, how does that work?

Aha, therein is the reason for the Request for Repairs. Everything in Real Estate is negotiable, everything I tell you. Defects found in an inspection report are as well.

Now, the inspection report doesn't mean you can generate a 'wish' list of repairs to be completed. But, it does mean you want to spend time with your family, and your agent, to determine which items are of the most concern to you.

Normally I would recommend items that are related to Fire, Safety, and Health. I would never suggest that you ask a seller to paint a wall. Nope, not one I would suggest.

However, you may ask the seller in a few different ways to take care of the issues that are a concern to you.

Ask them to repair them. If you want a contractor to repair them...be specific. If not, the seller does not have to use one, just correct in a good, skillful manner and comply with any applicable legal requirements (i.e. to code).

You may ask them to provide a seller credit at close of escrow so that you may correct the items once you own the home as you see fit.

Keep in mind there may also be lender required repairs. Seller is not obligated to repair these either, unless it is written into the contract originally or negotiated via a Request for Repairs.

Now, just because you ask, does not mean you shall receive. A seller may refuse, a seller may do a few, a seller may do all, part repair, part cash.

Everything is negotiable. Don't ever forget that.

If the sellers response is acceptable to you, great. If not, continue the negotiations.

The buyer may cancel the sale if seller is not willing to take care of particular items to the buyers satisfaction.

So, you've agreed upon repairs, or credits, now what?

Oh my, I'll do a blog post about the VOP! Keep reading!

Friday, November 22, 2013

MLS Stats? ~ Not!

I've been sharing them with you for a bit but they are pretty much the same as last month so I shall not bore you with numbers today.

In our lovely little valley we have just under 600 homes, townhouses, condos, for sale.  Still closing about 300 every month and still very limited amount of distressed properties compared to a year or so ago.

So, that's not the topic today!

Topic is where we will be this time next year. Yes, I'm doing a little ball playing with some crystal.

I do think inventory will continue to climb. I do think prices will continue to rise. I also believe that interest rates with rise as well. However, all will be in very small increments. Minute amounts. Teeny little bits.

I probably have already said this, but I feel pretty good about my thoughts. I will be surprised if I am wrong. And, oh, how I hate to be wrong!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Nice Home Loan Rates ~ Still!!!

Mortgage Interest Rates*
Rates as of Monday, 18th November, 2013:
 TermConformingAPRPayment per
30-Yr. fixed3604.125%4.31%$4.85
15-Yr. fixed1803.25%3.49%$7.03
7-Yr. fixed ARM3603.5%3.11%$4.49
5-Yr. fixed ARM3603.25%3.19%$4.35
VA 30 Fixed3603.875%4.33%$4.70
FHA 30 Fixed3603.875%5.45%$4.70
20 yr fixed rate 417,0002403.875%4.31%$5.99
10 yr fixed rate 417,0001203.25%3.61%$9.77

*Rates are subject to change due to market fluctuations and borrower's eligibility. Payment amounts do not include amounts for taxes and insurance. Actual monthly payment could be higher.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Interesting Or Amusing? Depends If You're Red Or Blue!

I read this the other day....yes I read Real Estate info EVERY DAY, and found it interesting (and amusing) enough to share with you!

Home prices gains are a wee bit higher in the Blue Metros than the Red. (Blue is Left, Red is Right wing in the political jargon). According to the survey 'Home prices are skyrocketing in many of America's bluest metros.' and 'The home price rebound has bypassed most of America's reddest metros.'

While I smile a bit at the statements.....it goes on to point out that the blue metros suffered more than red so it makes some sense.

Hopefully it won't create any further party separation but it likely will have different effects on each one, creating different opinions on how to correct housing in general.

Aren't we supposed to be the Red, White, and Blue?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Chief Economist Yun, From NAR, Suggests Expectations For 2014 Housing

National Association of Realtors has, of course, a chief economist. A good guy, Lawrence Yun, I like to read what he has to say and usually I agree with him.

Again today, I agree with Mr. Yun.

He expects existing home sales to be up about 10%. He said that this year price increases should end about 11% higher that last year and yet he expects 2014 to be only about 6% appreciation.

Many Americans will be in a good position to purchase a home in 2014 in many areas. However we are still a bit low based upon the last 40 years of monitoring.

Mr. Yun feels the top 10 markets for a housing turn next year are:

Salt Lake City Utah, Naples and Tampa in Florida, Atlanta Georgia, Boise Idaho, Houston Texas, Charlotte North Carolina, Denver Colorado, Seattle Washington, and Tuscon Arizona.

He didn't touch on Southern California....but I think we can all agree that we have seriously rebounded already!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Nice Pay Back!

I read this just a moment ago and since I'm in a HUGE rush out the door I'm just sharing the link to the L.A. Times article I read.

Freddie is paying the U.S. Treasury back a boat load of money!

And, I Love That!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Mello Roos, Property Taxes, and Home Values

Most everyone that is buying or selling, in Santa Clarita Valley, has likely heard of Mello Roos.

To some it is a deal breaker, to others, it is part of the whole picture of their perfect home.

A little tid-bit of knowledge about the Mello Roos' for you follows:

Mello Roos, School Bonds, Community Financial Districts, Landscape Maintenance....all are forms of property taxes that are above and beyond the normal tax. We generally calculate about 1.25 to 1.33 for property taxes. Yet, with some of these extras you can be paying significantly more on your property tax statement.

How long do they last? One of the biggest questions. All are different. Some are as short as 14 years, some as long as 40. Most expire after a period of time, but I have heard of some renewing.

How much are they? Generally depends on what type of special assessment it is. Also usually depends upon the size of the home. I've seen LM as much as 1200/year. I've seen School Bonds around 2000/year. I've seen Mello Roos as much as 7000 per year and as little as 600 per year. Always ask your agent if yours has any.

Where in SCV? Stevenson Ranch, Fair Oaks Ranch, Valencia, Saugus, Tesoro.....lots of areas in Santa Clarita.

How do you know if the home you are interested in has one? Ask your agent! We know how to figure it out, well we sure should.

So what if the home you love has a special assessment?  You talk to your lender to make sure the extra amount is still okay for your loan program. It's considered into your monthly payment. As long as you can afford it, okay then!

Pay attention to these extra taxes when you see a home very undervalued. When you have to consider the cost on your taxes, you have to consider them as part of the cost of your home.

Are they deductible on your income taxes? Defer that question to your tax adviser. Pretty much every one I know writes it off, but there are stipulations on some. So be aware.

That's a brief, but hopefully helpful, synopsis on Mello Roos' and the like. If you have more questions, feel free to shoot me an e-mail: lauren@keepyourwitz.com

Friday, November 1, 2013

Litigation Reserves, GSE Settlements, And, We The People

Many banks are making settlements with the GSE's for crappy loans sold to them in the 2ndary market a few years back. B of A is still struggling with one of the biggest likely settlements due to those sub par loans sold by Countrywide.

This brings to the head of how much these large banking institutions must keep in their litigation reserves to be able to make these payoffs.

It also makes me aware, and now you, of how little they are actually paying back, to the tune of 12, maybe 14% of the original loan amount, is what I read this morning.

So, yeah, they are being penalized and the GSE's are getting some reimbursement. But, as I've said before, the people, as in We The People, are paying for it all in the long run anyways.

Yes, I don't want the large banking institutions to get away with what they thought they got away with. True, but it all trickles down to you, me, and the infamous lamppost who pays for their poor behavior in the past. 

Okay, I'll get off my soap box now.......