Friday, April 25, 2014

Has It Cooled A Bit?

As you all know I'm checking our MLS every day several times a day. Watching for new listings, price changes, closed sale prices.

Anyone that follows my blog, YouTube, and/or Facebook posts knows that the inventory has crept up. Well, it's actually doubled from what it was last year.

But, that's not the telling factor I'm seeing. It's the number of price changes, the number of open house signs around the neighborhoods (and posted in my networking groups), and the number of pending and back-up properties going under contract.

Am I worried? Nope. Should you be? Nah. It just means the market is continuing to settle down. Working towards normalcy.

Yes, it feels like someone dropped a couple ice cubes in the market bath,
but we will fare just fine. 

So, us Realtors gotta get back out there and work hard, hard, hard!
Buyers & Sellers have to work hard too!
It's all worth it in the end.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Doing The Math On Mello-Roos Taxes

When house hunting you frequently will come across a home that you love and then you stop for a moment and ponder any special assessments....aka Mello-Roos taxes.....attached to the tax roll.

Case in point, a new listing of mine. One of the highest M-R taxes I've ever seen. A stunning home, former model, with every upgrade imaginable! And, without the M-R it would be listed 100-150,000 more than we currently have it priced.

So, why some homes and not others carry that tax burden? I'm not a tax analyst nor a home builder. It technically says it is for homes built in communities that need additional funds for infrastructure. As in schools, roads, parks, etc. And, quite honestly, it can be voted into an older community as well. So, we can't always escape it.

Now, let's go back to the math. And, let's think about tax credits. Again, I'm not your tax man.

Math is this ~

House price 550,000
Mello-Roos 7000/year
Use 4.5% interest rate and 20% down payment
Get approximately a monthly payment of 3500 for your PITIA
(PITIA = Principal Interest Taxes Insurance Association)

Take that exact same house with no Mello-Roos
Using the same 4.5 + 20% down to get that 3500 PITIA?
House price goes up to 675,000

Tax Thoughts ~

Boy oh boy, that's a tough one. All interest on your home loan is tax deductible. Well, to a certain point. For this example, yes it is.

Property taxes are tax deductible too, right? Yes indeedy.

Mello-Roos as well you ask? And, a multitude of different answers you shall receive! Check Wikipedia, check IRS, check Franchise Tax Board, check with your Tax person.....all different answers and it would appear all pretty much the way you consider the tax to be utilized is if it is a tax deduction or not.

If it is deductible, then who quite honestly cares how high the mello-roos is if you love the home? Well, your lender for certain! Your own conscience has to wrestle it as well.

Well, at least M-R generally does have an end date that is usually shorter than your 30 year mortgage!

For further questions, just holler. OR ASK YOUR TAX PERSON!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Housing Wire Article To Share ~ Good News For California

If we don't have a lot of underwater homeowners any longer, the option for distressed home purchases falls extremely short for the people still hoping to purchase and flip a home.

Not saying there aren't any to be had but check out the cities with the most underwater homeowners and note that we are not one of them. (Described as homes where the loan balance is at least 25% higher than the current value.)

1) Nevada (34%)
2) Florida (31%)
3) Illinois (30%)
4) Michigan (29%)
5) Ohio (27%)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Santa Clarita Valley MLS Activity

Just to keep you informed, as I like to keep my peeps in the know!

Active listings in Santa Clarita Valley. From Acton to Valencia, Stevenson Ranch to Castaic
589 show as active this morning.

Under contract?

And sold in the last 30 days?

Interest rates remain low, inventory is twice what is was last year this time, but still low. We've bumped back up to about 300 selling in 30 days but I'm still waiting to get over the 600 hump.

Any questions about SCV Real Estate ~ Lauren@KeepYourWitz.Com

Friday, April 11, 2014

Santa Clarita Valley NOT Among Top Ten Of Most Boring In California

Well, a lot of the teenagers and young adults that grew up here seem to be saying different!

But, the list of top 10 most boring places to live in California are apparently, in order:

1) Lakewood
2) Lancaster
3) West Covina
4) Victorville
5) Merced
6) Alhambra
7) Ontario
8) Modesto
9) Hesperia
10) Carson

I don't think I've even been to but 2 or 3 of those cities. And, of course, I apologize in advance if you live in one of them!

Determining factors you ask? Well, the six main ones anyways. Hmmmm, let's see how many of these things pretty Awesometown has ~ ~ ~

* Nightlife ~ Um, a bit.
* Live Music Venues ~ Better in the summer!
* Active Life Options ~ Yes, yes yes!
* Fast Food Restaurants ~ Plenty to pick from.
* Percentage of Restaurants that are fast food ~ too many.
* Percentage of Young Residents Ages 20-34 ~ I'd have to double check our demographics. But, it sure feels like we have less and less of that age bracket.

Well then, much to my own children's chagrin....Awesometown is Not Boring!

But I guess those top 10 cities have this posted as you enter their towns!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Owners Renting Instead of Selling & One In Three Americans Don't Have Emergency Savings

Those were the two headlines that caught my eye this morning to share with you. They both drew a little sigh of dismay out of me too.

I have seen a few more of the first lately. Read a couple of lenders bits on it too. So, the dilemma with owners not selling to buy is that, of course, our inventory will not climb to a normal point anytime soon. I watch it daily, it's stuck still just around 600 in Santa Clarita Valley.

The second....well, that's just sad. The way it ties in with the first is that, of course, if the rental becomes vacant for that new landlord for a few months, will they have the emergency money to take care of it?

Oh Lordy, I sure hope so. But, these would be landlords concern me. If they start dumping the properties all at the same time? Ugh. We know what will happen there.

If Americans don't have emergency money? Ugh, that's not good for housing either.

I'm feeling double Ugh today on those headlines.

I send well wishes to the newbies that become landlords. Well wishes to the Americans that don't have emergency savings. I wonder who their financial planners are? If there is any planning going on? I really wonder if the newbie landlords have any idea what being a landlord is all about?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Clearing Up Your Credit Report To Buy A Home

Believe it or not, paying off all your debt sometimes is not the best way to up your FICO score.

So, you've been saving money every paycheck and now have quite the nest egg for a down payment on a home! Congratulations! That's an awesome accomplishment!

Next, you contact a Realtor that a friend or family member referred to you. They hopefully say 'First things first, we need to get you pre-approved with a lender.' They give you a few names you talk to a couple of them.....

And, find a less than stellar FICO score is going to hold you back a bit.

But wait! There are things you can do to clean up your scoring. And, no, you don't have to pay some company a part of your precious home down payment to do so!

You know who's the best one to tell you what you need to do? What you shouldn't do? One of the mortgage lenders that your trusted Realtor referred you to! Yes indeed!

Paying off all of your debt? Eh! No, credit reporting companies want to see regular payments, as in responsible payments, vs a zero debt. Old debt still showing up? Contact those oldies and ask for them to be deleted. Or marked paid in full as agreed. Large car loan that reduces your income to debt ratio....might consider paying that one off....IF THE LENDER TELLS YOU TO!

The people that work for you to get you qualified for a loan know exactly what works and what doesn't. They have such extreme knowledge they can even give you an idea of timing to raise up that FICO score so we can get in the car and actually find your home and use that nest egg!

That's my topic for today! Clearing up the credit score to use that pretty nest egg!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Medical Offices Next Big Real Estate Item?

Well, it makes sense to me. Southern California is considered one of the top 10 for Hot Medical Office Real Estate.

Considering the money we have, the climate we have, and the number of us Baby-Boomers that are getting to the age where we need more medical care? Makes perfect sense. Heck, I just had to go for a dang stress test recently! Age is creeping up on us and I can see it from just my personal standpoint...I'm seeing my doctor a lot more than when I was in my 20's!

My husband is counting the days til we can retire....and, that's not so far away. Well, I will never completely retire....I'll be helping people in and out of homes til I can't drive anymore! But, don't tell him.

Yet, we have to consider that our state is a beautiful state for retirement. As well, there are a lot of us aging up here. So, if you've considered investing in other than residential real estate....consider this option. Seriously....consider it.