Friday, September 26, 2014

Be Prepared For More Signatures When Buying A Home in California

In November we will be getting a new Residential Purchase Agreement to work with. Adds a few things, takes a few away. Several other documents are changed, added, subtracted too!

The changes actually add two more pages to the purchase agreement alone. The most interesting to me is the Wood Destroying Pest addendum is going away completely.

In the over 12 years I've been helping people, we've had that form. Generally the seller pays for the inspection and any Section One items. Buyer usually pays for the Section Two items. In November that form is going away and termite repairs will be another Request for Repairs negotiated if your agent isn't careful....on either side.

Just bringing this to your attention to make sure you work with an agent that has experience, a good brain, pays attention to detail, AND is aware of all the updates that come down the pipe from the California Association of Realtors so that you, the client, are protected.

All That Blue Indicating Change?  Just on the First Page!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Good Old Fannie Mae Eases Waiting Period for Some Buyers

These changes actually are in effect for any buyers whose loan application dates are after August 16,2014.

Buyers with a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, new waiting period is 4 years. Time can be shortened to 2 years if the borrower can prove extenuating circumstances.

Buyer with a foreclosure new minimum wait is 7 years, possibly shortened to 3 for same reason as above.

BK you say? 4 years for chapter 7 or 11, possible 2. Chapter 13, wait now is 4 years from discharge date, may soften back to 2 as well with proven extenuating circumstances.

Previous policy wait was determined with the LTV ratios.

This should help move a few homes along.....or jump up prices with still reduced inventory.

Only time will tell!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

When You Have To Realize What's Meant To Be Will Be

It's a phrase I use in my Real Estate career over and over again. Buyers can get so upset when they feel their dream home escaped them.

Some crazy lady in San Diego county went way beyond normalcy when her offer was not the one selected by the sellers for what she felt was supposed to be her forever home.

She started sending Valentines day cards from the new owners husband to the neighborhood wives. She set up the wife's picture on a porn site. She sent magazines to their home. The 'pranks' went on and on.

Well this lady is now in a court case as one apparently almost led to a rape crime upon the wife of the winning home owners.

At any rate, yes, sometimes it can be very devastating not to be the buyer selected on an offer for what you believe is the perfect home for you and your family. But, there are two things here to consider. If it was the dream home....did you write your absolutely best offer? If you did, and you didn't get it....quite possibly that house was not meant to be your home.

Before I was a Realtor I wrote an offer on a home with a beautiful black-bottom pool, on a cul-de-sac, in Valencia. We got beat out. I was devastated. At the close of escrow on that property, the seller destroyed the swimming pool.

We ended up closing escrow on a bigger, better home that my children grew up in!

Below is the pool in the home we ended up buying!

It can be seemingly horrific not getting the home that you were sure was the perfect home.....but there's always another one that's meant for my humble opinion.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Selling Season Appears To Be Over

My oh my .....lots of price reductions today. It was about 23 so far this morning and our inventory in beautiful Santa Clarita is just under 800.

Several new listings have come on the market waaaaay high. But, I supposed each seller has their reasons.

Several buyers I'm working with, scouring the MLS and networking groups daily (several times daily) for just the right property.

A seller that wished they had listed 4 or 5 months ago.

But, it is what it is. Fortunately we don't have snow seasons in Awesometown, but we definitely have the typical Spring/Summer selling season height.

We do have real buyers that are coming out now though. Not the lookie-loos that you get in the normal top of the market.

Should you list now? Should you wait til Spring? Tough call. Less competition now than there will surely be in the Spring though!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dunkin' Donuts Coming Back To California

Why would a Realtor blog about this? Well, it is a bit about Real Estate. In that Dunkin' Donuts is smart enough to realize they can pay for less Real Estate to build their franchises than, what they hope to compete with, Starbucks.

The Dunkin' Donuts franchises left Cali years ago, re-worked their plans, and are now coming back. Here's to hoping for their great success!

Yes you can tell I'm not a fan of Starbucks. Fine Chai Iced Tea I do admit....but paying $3.45 for black iced coffee convenience in a plastic cup isn't for me. Especially when I could get it for 50 cents back in the day. Ahhh, those were the days! LOL

Dunkin' Donuts will likely cater to a slightly different economic crowd though. Their coffee will cost less. Will be served in paper cups vs. plastic. Surely a doughnut or two will cross the lips of those that prefer to go there vs. the current coffee giant and their scones.

But, I am one that favors some honest competition. Hoping this helps to create that in the coffee convenience serving world.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Painting Your Lawn Green Instead of Watering It?

We've seen it done, but I always thought it had something to do with fertilization. Until I read an article about a company in Northern California that is painting a lot of lawns due to the California drought.

I thought it was a great idea! Nope, I didn't investigate how much it cost. Google to your hearts content on that one. I did read that the deader the lawn the longer the painting lasts. You know like a woman that colors her gray hair? It grows and has to be touched back up. So if the lawn is completely dead there likely won't be the re-growth of roots to require touch-ups.

I received a call from my water company recently that said they were going to be giving us just a few days a week to be allowed to water our lawns. They already have that in areas of Los Angeles city, Glendale, etc. We have so many HOA's out here I wonder how they're going to handle seeing brown lawns everywhere.

At any rate, if you are a water conscious homeowner, consider Googling the lawn painters in your community and maybe it'll be a great option for you!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Avoiding Legal Issues In Real Estate

As a Realtor for over a dozen years, I've never been sued, or even had a breath of a suit. For that I am grateful. Well, for that I say thank you to myself for serving my clients well, more than well actually.

Read an article this morning that a big sale (to the tune of over 12M) that happened in Malibu a few years ago was going through some legal issues due to the size of the property being about 1/3 less than the advertised square footage. Apparently there is an ordinance in that community that allows for the basement and garage to be counted in the actual size. Even if the tax records show it as less though.

The listing agent and the selling agent worked for the same company. Buyer isn't going after his agent, only the sellers agent. I find that interesting, of course!

However, when you are buying real estate.....and you are using me as your should (and do) get every little bit of info about the property you can possibly find to make sure it really is the right property for you.

Whether it is a buyer or a seller, they are presented at the initial thought process of buying or selling:

1) Comparable Sales 
2) Property Profile/Tax Record
3) A bevy of additional documents too, of course. But for this blog, note the item directly above # 2.

The property profile is a brief, yet very important document to see if likelihood of the property being advertised at 15k sq feet is only 9500 sq feet. Sometimes they are more than noted, but if so, we need a written reason (aka seller disclosure) as to why it is not noted in the tax records attached to the MLS.

Buyers recently closed on a property that my tax records showed less than. We were able to obtain permits, which my clients signed. And, a letter from the assessors office noting the correct square footage that was advertised, which was signed as well.

Other little tid-bits are on that property profile report, tax basis, special assessments, last time it was sold, all kinds of good info. My clients appreciate it being shown to them. I would if I was buying or selling as well!

This particular buyer didn't have an appraisal, who would have caught the difference in size, as he paid all cash. Honestly at 12.5 M, I'd want an appraisal for sure, cash buyer or not.

At any rate, buyer and seller beware. Make sure you and your agent are looking for EVERYTHING, related to the property. Do not count on someone telling you the truth. Do your due diligence, no matter what. And, if I have a client that does not want to? Hmmmm, you can bet they are signing waivers indicating that they were recommended to do XYZ....and chose not to.