Friday, October 30, 2015

Solar Panels & HOA's

I would think it was pretty clear. If you live in a condominium or townhouse that the HOA covers roof maintenance, you can't put up solar panels without explicit approval. And, the California laws about HOA's and Solar Panels likely wouldn't help you.

The community, or HOA, actually 'owns' the roof. Well, sort of anyways. The common area roof's are not really owned by the individual. Well, sorta. While a townhouse or condo is owned by the homeowner, the maintenance of roof is not. One of the reasons people like that option. Very little exterior care required.

However, don't expect it to be easy, or quite possibly impossible, to get Solar Panels on your shared roof.

Now, on a single family residence, but still governed by an HOA, that is a different story. They truly can't stop you from putting up Solar Panels on your home. You do have to get the dreaded architectural approval, they can request minimal changes, but they can't refuse them.

Most are pretty quickly approved. Maybe a color change, maybe an electrical box change. But, no disapproval, per California law.

So, considering Solar Panels? If you've got a community HOA, and live in a detached home, get the architectural approval. Go in with the knowledge they can't legally stop you, just a caveat or two possibly. But, you will get an 'You Can' approval from them. It's the law!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Why Do Some Listing Agents Require Cross Qualification With A Preferred Lender?

Pretty simple answer. We want to make sure it's going to close! We need to do our due diligence to protect our sellers. If that requires our preferred lender putting the stamp of approval on it, so be it.

(Yeah, I used a cute SOA pic!)

When I write an offer for a buyer and they ask for cross qualification, do I fight the listing agent on it? Nope, not if my buyer is super interested in the property. 

Sometimes, the preferred cross-qualifying lender just talks to buyer. Sometimes they look at partial documents, sometimes they want a new credit report. Whatever they want, if my buyer wants the property, we turn it over. Simple as that. No fighting about it.

Doesn't matter if it's a 250, or 775, or 990 thousand dollar property. A few million for that matter. One of the biggest fails I see in Real Estate, is the property went back on the market as the buyer couldn't qualify.

Really? That agent's poor seller is left hanging out to dry with so much time wasted. Lost opportunities. I'm not one of those agents. I've yet to have a buyer on one of my listings not be able to close due to not being able to qualify for their loan. That's not one in over 13 years of selling homes. Nope, not a one!

Know why? Because if I don't know your lender......your buyer is going to cross-qual. That's why!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Hate When This Happens!

But, dang, it had to happen. It is a sign actually, of good times in housing market.

Wells Fargo has determined that 490 jobs in their mortgage departments across the country will be eliminated.

It's due to the reduction of distressed homes inventory. Less foreclosure activity. Less mortgage refinance activity.

They are determined to place as many of these employees within the company in different departments.

But, sign of a rebounding housing market can also mean loss of jobs in the mortgage industry that focused on distressed homes.

Happy for the sign, but sad for those employees that do not get to keep a job.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

California Association Of Realtors 2016 Forecast

Basically says we are looking good. Still fairly tight inventory, still low interest rates. California leading the nation in economic job growth.

All good. This right here is a copy & paste from their report :

The California median home price is forecast to increase 3.2 percent to $491,300 in 2016, following a projected 6.5 percent increase in 2015 to $476,300.  This is the slowest rate of price appreciation in five years. 

We all know that the market is location based if course, but I feel very comfortable with their forecasting based upon my experience and what I'm watching happening in my Santa Clarita Valley specialty area.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Black Kitchens Taking Over?

Um, call me old fashioned, or call me whatever you want...but the only bit of the color black I want in my kitchen is pretty minimal.

I read a couple articles that say black kitchens are taking some space in designers heads. But, we all will shrink a room, it darkens a corner, is is very ....chilly.....I'm not digging this at all.

I guess I could see it in some super techy loft. Some place maybe where they have a lot of snow so it's chilly already. Geez, maybe somewhere that the homeowner is Goth?

What say you? Would you do a totally black kitchen?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

What's Going on With Our Market??

I see some agents panicking a bit out here in Santa Clarita. Well, one in particular. She does that. But regardless, people are chatting in my industry about what's happening in the market.

Listed a townhouse, same floor plan, same condition flew off the market in 1 week beginning of September. Mine is now at day 18 of days on market with no hint of an offer. Well there was a hint of one and the buyers daughter said she shouldn't buy it. Dang kids!

Another listing received multiple offers in the first week but they were 99% contingent so we selected what appeared to be the best offer with the contingent home being priced most appropriately and in a great location. That buyers' home is now sitting 9 days on market. A month ago it would have been in escrow already.

Inventory is a little seasonally down. Interest rates took a little dip too. But, the housing market feels like it's skidded to a halt....well, not really, but a little bit.

But those red cones may be trying to tell us something........

Or not. Honestly we're hitting the slower home selling season. Job growth report was a bit iffy. The scare of a possible interest hike didn't happen, so buyers are being a bit choosier in my opinion.

SPOILER ALERT ~ This is of course, just my opinion. And I'm happy to see this little bit of a stall. It keeps sellers on this planet instead of Mars when it comes to pricing. It makes for the stability of a market when sales slow down a little bit. It does make it challenging for a seller needing to sell and buy a replacement home, but it does keep things on this planet we all live on called Earth.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Home Sales Activity Santa Clarita Valley & Surrounding Communities October 9, 2015

What's happening around Awesometown?

Inventory is seasonally a bit low right now. Only 684 active properties for sale. Yes, homes, condos', townhouses. Acton to Stevenson Ranch. Newhall to Castaic.

Under contract you ask? 614. But, needless to say, many of those could still be some old distressed sales properties. I'm not going to look!

Sold in the last 30 days? THREE HUNDRED & FORTY NINE! That's a terrific number!

Everything I can see, and what I'm reading, says we will continue to have nice levels of home sales. Interest rates are low, housing inventory is climbing steadily, and the job reports are getting better.

That's What's Happening Around Town!

Any Questions? Just Holler!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Picking Apart Offers

When a buyer writes an offer on one of my listings I diligently review, dissect, pick apart. Supposed to, right?

I verify that the current home they live in is up, or not up, for sale. Some try to slip that non-contingent status in when they really do have to sell their home.

I contact their lender that came with offer. Make sure they've actually looked at Tax Returns, W-2's, assets, FICO scores, etc. We're totally supposed to, yes?

One lender I speak with today....nice guy....totally on the ball....he confirms something I dreadfully already know....not enough Realtors actually even speak with the buyers lender who is supposed to be doing a loan to purchase their sellers property. I do, more often than I should, see notes that property is back on the market due to buyer could not qualify for loan.

At any rate, it's my job to protect my Sellers, get them the most amount of money, and make the transaction as smooth as possible. It's my job to Keep Their 'Witz' About Them, right?

So today I am dissecting 3 offers on one of my listings. Will be preparing a Sellers Multiple Counter Offer....most send back to all of them.

But, each will be different. Each will be related to that original offer. If I'm skeptical of the lender, I'll ask for a cross-qualification. If they've written non-contingent, I may suggest a non-refundable deposit. Well, we're not supposed to do that, but...well, I just may.

At any I go to Pick Apart these bazillion pages which encompass several offers!

It doesn't really go with this post but it made me laugh!

Friday, October 2, 2015

What's This TRID Stuff All About?

You've likely seen a few things pass your line of sight, if you're in the market to buy or sell a home, that talk about TRID.

The start date for it is tomorrow. No clues as to why it's starting on a Saturday, but it is. I'm sure the answer can be Googled, but it's not important in the grand scheme of things.

What do you as a buyer or seller really need to know about TRID (TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure)? To pay attention to time-lines, listen to your Realtor, listen to your lender.....don't try and make any changes that are financial, late in escrow. It'll foul things up for closing.

And, for the beginning stages....don't even try a 30 day escrow!

It's all about transparency. Making sure the buyers REALLY, and truly understand what they are doing. We've made so many changes over the last almost decade since the recent housing crash, this is just another one.

Changes in APR, changes in credits, changes in anything related to money will require a re-disclosing of documents to the buyer.

If you're trying to do Home of Choice with Concurrent closing, phew, that's a possible challenge for sure. Arrange a minimum of 3 days after closing with a possible need for more to meet any time line changes in either escrow.

For the standard buyer or seller....I what your lender tells you to an extremely timely manner. For us Realtors out there.....don't waste your time screaming at the buyers lender if you got a credit towards closing costs late in the game to the lender and it delays your closing of escrow. 

There will be several things completely out of our control...which is challenging to say the least to an OCD-er like me. But, if I do what I'm supposed to do and the other agent does, and the buyer does, and the seller does....whoa....and the lender does too.....we'll all be sitting pretty. I know, lot to ask!!

It's going to take some time to get used to it. Take your B12, you're gonna need some patience for a while peeps!