Friday, May 30, 2014

Buyer Beware on Flip Purchases ~ Questions To Ask

We don't have as many anymore, but, when my writes an article reminding us about the cautions we need to take for buyers and sellers regarding a flip property....well, dang, I share!

Most investors have not lived in a property so their disclosures can be very vague. BUT, they should still provide information about the condition of the property prior to any repairs. AND, answer any questions you wish to ask!

This list is great and we should all memorize it ~

1) What was the property's condition when investor purchased?
2) Are there receipts from licensed contractors to verify the amount of money the seller spent?
3) Is there a list of what was done to correct each defective condition?
4) Were there defects that were not repaired?
5) What work was done by a handyman?
6) Were permits available for the work that was done, and what work was done without permits?

See, I told you they were good!!! Yes, you have a right to ask questions! Yes, sellers should certainly answer honestly! If they don' can get ugly after close of escrow!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Why That List Price?

There is a reason for every list price I suggest. However, it's always up to the seller, of course, what the ultimate price starts at.

So many things to consider. Today it's touching on making it a competitive sale. Listing where you feel you won't have an appraisal problem.

Let's say you've got a really popular home about to come on the market. You know there will be a high demand for it. Likely multiple offers....and likely over list price.

My suggestion is to list it where you know there won't be an appraisal problem based upon the comparable sales.

If the buyers want to pay more, great. Their responsibility to pay over appraised value if it doesn't come in at their purchase price. They're the ones that wanted to pay that much right? My job is to make sure the contract is iron clad in that area!

The concern of the seller may be that if they list it a smidgen low they may not get to where they really want. Yes, that certainly can happen. Doesn't mean you have to take that full price offer though. But, if you only get one offer.....then that's what a buyer is willing to pay for it. And, that's what a home is worth.....what a buyer is willing to pay for it.

List Price Thoughts For The Day!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Reverse Mortgages for Senior Citizens

Part of my Real Estate licensing requires continuing education. First time was 18 months, 2nd renewal was 2 years, each subsequent has been 4 years where I must learn or review a topic related to my career.

I've just finished 5 courses in preparation of my brokers license. Also just finished renewal topic number 3 for my salesperson license. Yep, lots of studying going on.

This topic was about Reverse Mortgages. A program developed to help equal out the budget for our Senior Citizens that may need a bit of extra cash for the remainder of their lives or just a short period of time.

It is for those that are homeowners with very little, or no mortgage, on their residence. Must be at least 62 years old, but there is no income requirement. Yep, none.

You can't have a home that is worth 800k and expect to get 800k. It's a calculation to assist a little bit, not the whole kit and caboodle! There are limits. It depends upon life expectancy, home value, location, FHA limits. Depends on tenure, term, credit line, or lump sum.

Many calculations, many choices. But it could certainly help out a senior that has some unexpected short or long term expenses.

The mortgage balance only comes due when the homeowner dies or leaves the residence for more than 12 months. It can always be paid off earlier though.

This is just a brief synopsis of the program. Most important thing I kept reading? Making sure that if you think this program could help you to find a lender that has a lot of experience in helping Seniors with a Reverse Mortgage.

Nothing would be worse than going to an inexperienced lender,
 and having something harm the equity you've been building for so long!

We're all going to be here someday, think how this could help.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Mortgage Rates Down?

I can't believe it. Told my husband last night that they were down to 4.125 again. He said that's high! I laughed and laughed.

Really, 4.125? That's fantastic. If rates continue to hover under 5? Please, that's fantastic. What's keeping anyone from buying now?

I just don't know! I've done the calculations before, scoll back some and see if you can find the post. The difference you save buying today vs. buying when the rates creep up!

I've got 1/2 dozen lenders I love, and they can all get you great rates and great service. Then it turns into my job to get you a great home.

There is the challenge, right?? Well, sometimes. Depends on your needs and wants.

Super quickie today ~ MORTGAGE RATES ARE DOWN!! 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Best Rate Doesn't Mean Best Service

Perusing my usual sites for all news related to Real Estate in California, Santa Clarita, and everywhere else, I came upon an article about Loan Officers.....questions to ask them before you commit to working with them.

Realtors are frequently asked questions about our experience and knowledge. Our game plan to help a buyer or a seller. What our stats are like. As Realtors, we also get asked about where to get a home loan from.

I have a list of about 1/2 dozen that I would highly recommend. Ones that I've worked with, trust, know they have the experience to get it done.

Any lender can quote a rate that is ridiculously below the norm. But, can they pull it off? Can they get it closed on time? Case in point was when one of my buyers just had to use one of those lenders he found off the internet that was based in Colorado. Great rate, awful service! I've never had to pester a lender nearly as much as him. But, that wasn't the kicker! I kept asking where the heck loan docs were? He said they'd be there on time. Turned out he hadn't done a loan in California! Was expecting that loan docs came day of close! Yikes!

We did get it done, but that was the worst service I've ever seen.....well, I've got more stories that I won't share today. Needless to say I've recently nicknamed a lender 'The Monkey' as it seems like they are just monkeying around instead of getting the job done!

So beware of those low rates offered. 
Decide if it's worth getting what you paid for vs. getting exemplary service!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Older Americans Have More Home Loan Debt

Well, that's kind of a given, right? But why?

Well, I didn't even read the complete article since it's pretty obvious to me as likely to you too!

Any older American, me included, that bought at the height of the market, we're carrying a boat-load of debt!

Americans? We are living longer, working longer, buying homes many more times than our ancestors. Yep, more debt will occur.

I did scan the article enough to notice that it said 30% of older Americans income is spent on housing. Well, that's for younger Americans as well.

Fortunately for us oldies, we are still able to work longer. I'd get bored to tears if I didn't. No, I'm not that close to official retirement age yet! Still got over a decade to go.

So, my point, reason for this post? To note that it's not worth whining over. It is what it is. We put ourselves in this debt for the things (houses) we want. We calculate where the mortgage debt will be when we are ready to retire.

At that point, either we take the boat with us or we sell it to someone else.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Town of New

I love Santa Clarita Valley! Love it's cleanliness, community spirit. Miss the beach, but someday I'll get back there!

One phrase I've coined in the 12 years I've been selling homes out here? 'SCV is The Town of New.' Yep, we love new stuff. Restaurants that open are crazy, busy, when they first unlock their doors. New release movies...lines out the wazoo. Stores in the mall? Gotta check out the new merchandise.

But, my reference is really about homes. Buyers love the new homes we have to offer out here. Just like cars. They love the smell, the amenities, the cleanliness of new homes.

We haven't had a ton of new construction in SCV for a while, but it's coming. I tell ya, it's coming. Google away and you'll see for yourself.

I bring this to your attention as I'm truly confident that in the next few years there will be a ground breaking ceremony for the Newhall Ranch project that was due to start construction in 2008. 20k homes over 20 years encompassing almost 2600 acres. The size of SCV now is where I've heard it's going to equal.

So what does that mean to The Town of New SCV? It means we won't be the newbies anymore! We will likely have a lot of homes for sale as us Santa Claritans go on the search for new again!

Not a crystal ball, just common sense. This is just truly a string around the finger reminder post. That sellers haven't had a ton of competition for your homes. But, when this project breaks likely will!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Real Estate Thoughts For Today May 2 2014

I read a ton of articles over the last few days. Even while I'm out camping, I keep reading and reading and reading. I keep checking the MLS, looking at the stats.

Thoughts for today?

We are still in recovery. Better jobs report this week. Better interest rates early in the week. Feds tapering mortgage security purchasing. We don't have quite the inventory my buyers need. Nor do we have quite the buyers my sellers need. Foreclosure starts hovering around 10%. Inventory creeping up.

So, while the last few years of Real Estate, I've been doing this for a dozen already, have been a large challenge for buyers, sellers, lenders, Realtors...we've all had a challenge.....Real Estate comes with daily matter what type of market we are in.

Whether it's the buyer that wants more than he can afford or the seller that wants more for their house than it's worth. Whether we are doing the work for the other agent. Whether the great house we have listed isn't getting any bites. Or the great house we think we found for the buyer doesn't interest them. Today it was the challenge of getting through 201 pages of underlying documents to decipher items on a title report for a client.

Always something new, always something challenging. That's the nature of Real Estate. Ever changing.

'What's the market like?' is the question every one asks when they first meet me. I try not to let them see me roll my eyes upward while I explain the current conditions.

The ever challenging, and changing conditions. 
But, since I love my chosen career, love helping people to understand, I spew the information as it pertains to 'What the market is like'!