Tuesday, May 31, 2016

SFR Investor Loan Qualifications May Be Changing

Seems pretty common sense. If the property doesn't make enough money to pay the mortgage debt the investor is more likely to default.

Well, duh!!!

For a long time an investor buying a condo/townhouse, or single family residence, had to put at least 25% down. That was what likely made for a more comfortable lender to create the less likelihood of a future default. More money taking the chance of a total loss, more likely to stick it out when times get tough.

Now, the lenders are finally considering how much the actual rental makes. Can it cover the mortgage debt?

Personal income, including the rental income, and debt was the key on the lending (or refinancing) on an income property.

It's about time they are considering it in the more commercial lending way.

So, if you are considering an investment property, be sure to talk with a lender that is considering this option. And, be sure of course, that the property income will handle the debt.

Friday, May 27, 2016

How To Deal With Multiple Buyers On A Home You REALLY Want

There's a few things that are best. Work with an agent that has a good reputation in the area you are wanting to buy. Work with a lender that has a good reputation in the area you want to buy.

Some seem so simple to me. Get your finances in order. Make sure you truly know what are the must have's and wanna have's in the home. See if there are any contingencies you are willing to remove or shorten time periods for. Inspections can be done quickly, easy-peasy to shorten that one.

Don't only go house hunting when it's convenient. Be prepared to jump when a new one hits the market. Oh lordy, don't dawdle about writing an offer either, be prepared to write one immediately! May even have to consider trusting your Realtor and writing sight un-seen. ONLY if you trust your Realtor to know you well enough!

A lot will depend upon the market you are seeking a home in and which price point you are smack dab in the middle of. Anything under 500k here in Santa Clarita, if it's a lovely home & priced correctly, it will likely have multiple offers.

With that said....I'm presuming you are in the price point that has multiple offers, consider this:

Put your best foot forward. 
As in life, as in a job interview, as in Real Estate, 
put the bestest of the best foot forward....right from the start.

Write your best offer. Don't even consider a low-ball offer, unless you want to be rejected outright or not even considered in a multiple counter offer. Write a super clean offer. Short closing time. Give the seller the time they need, make sure the contract excludes what is written as an exclusion in the MLS. Don't ask for too much, geez, try not to ask for closing costs either. Shorten up those contingency periods. Not unrealistically though. If you've got cash, use it. The larger down payment, the more secure the seller will feel about selecting your offer. 

Please don't write an offer then disappear off the face of the earth. You'll lose out if your agent needs to discuss counter offer negotiations. 

Love letter, yes I've spoken about those before. Consider not just a 'Dear Seller of 123 ABC street'. Be certain to address it to the seller directly, know their name, let them know yours, add a family photo and why you love their home & what you fell in love with. Don't go over the top, but let those sellers know who you are. Unless you're a turd of course! LOL

One last thing, it actually worked for one of my buyers.....offer a little incentive to the seller. My buyers noticed that the sellers were fans of a particular football team. Buyers had season seats and offered a couple tix to a game. Not sure if it helped, but it warmed up the situation!

Think outside the box. Be prepared to possibly pay over appraised value. And, don't cry if you don't get the one house that you thought was perfect. What is meant to be will be. And a better one, that's perfect for those feet of yours....will definitely come along!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Don't Forget About Garden Paths When Planning Yard Landscaping

A friend of mine is doing some phenomenal landscaping in his new homes' back yard. I mean, really fantabulous!

He did ask me my opinion early on and I like to think my input did help him with some of his plans!

One of the things I mentioned was creating a path to the rear gate that goes to the open space behind the home.

But, it doesn't just have to go to a rear gate, right? Garden paths are perfect for taking your guests to another spot in your yard. A secret place, a sitting area not seen when first stepped outside, any place you want to make sure is gone to, a lovely path will surely take people there!

Check these out from......what's my favorite site again?.......Houzz!!

Just don't mow the stuff around it!

I did something like this in my last home.

Follow the yellow/blue/orange/green/red brick road!

Love, love, love!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Follow-Up To New Construction Orientation......Take Notes!

I've closed many new construction homes. Never did a home inspection, new home right? What could go wrong? After all, there is a Fit & Finish warranty. And, a 10 year builder defect clause too!

So, did an orientation with home builder on a small 'boutique' home development a few months ago. All seemed to go well. Builder was very amenable to correcting any & all of buyers concerns.

Until the homeowner moved in. More items were noted, items that were to be fixed have not been corrected. One fairly large issue the builder refuses to correct. Feels that it is a 'tolerance' item.

So, with a bit of persuasion, I had my trusted home inspector do a post-closing home inspection. He noted many areas that should be reported to the builder. Some, just so they were noted if there was a problem in the future, some that were small but should be addressed now, a few that were like 'Really, correct this already Mr. Builder!'

The builder still refused to do one particular item, corrected several, many still remain undone. And, another issue has popped up as well.

Fortunately, my peeps still love their home. And, their value seems to have increased just in the few months since they purchased. Going to visit tomorrow hopefully to see progress of the backyard design.

Purpose of this blog post? To remind people you do have rights. My guy has gone ahead and reached out to the state contractors board and he filed a complaint. The neighbors are having some similar issues but seem to be waiting to 'see what happens'. So, today, the first inspector came out to property...took lots of notes, remained straight faced. They will then reach out to the builder, who has already received a letter regarding the complaint, about corrective actions.

Then, depending upon how the builder responds.....another expert will go to property and next step would likely be binding arbitration. And then, all contractors guidelines would have to be adhered to.

I love this particular client, never quits. Too many people would just let it go, settle. But, this guy, a very successful business man, but totally cool too, not a quitter.

And he still loves his home!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Santa Clarita Valley Home Sales Activity May 17, 2016

Beautiful, clean, well maintained, Santa Clarita Valley & surrounding communities, home sales have been great!

Well, I sure wish we had more active listings....but it's twice as much as a couple years ago. Half as much as a dozen years ago though!

At any rate, I include Acton, Agua Dulce, Canyon Country, Saugus, Valencia, Stevenson Ranch, Newhall, Castaic, & Val Verde.

As of this moment, we have 592 ACTIVE listings. Homes, condos, townhouses.

In ESCROW there are 716. Nice that 630 (almost 90%) are standard sellers!

CLOSED escrow in the last 30 days? We are up on that one to 362!!

So, who wants me to list their home for sale now? 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Condos, Townhouses, & Termites!

Experience counts! Oh, yes it sure does. I learned this little bit of knowledge when I made a mistake, since I didn't know, about a dozen years ago.

When representing a seller that owns a Condo or Townhouse, ALWAYS check with the HOA to see if there is an approved vendor for Wood Destroying Pest inspections. If you don't, you may get stuck in the situation my buyer is stuck in.....waiting for the HOA to do a 2nd inspection....with.....yes, their approved vendor!!! Frequently the HOA takes care of termite stuff anyways so they want a trusted vendor to inspect and complete work.

When representing a buyer, if you want the seller to pay for a Wood Destroying Pest inspection....and you're writing an offer on a Condo or Townhouse, make sure you put these words in.....Seller Choice, HOA Approved......make absolute sure.

So, Murphy's law.....seller ordered the inspection report from a complete unknown company. HOA says we need a 2nd inspection. Then, to top it off, HOA rep goes on vacation. He's allowed, I know, but we have time frames to follow dude! LOLOL

At any rate, all of this could have been cleared much sooner if the seller had ordered the Wood Destroying Pest inspection by an HOA approved vendor.

Piece of info for you today!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Will Large Homes Be Going Out of Style?

Met with a seller recently that is downsizing now vs. a few years from now. There is retirement to consider, home prices now vs. later here and there.

They have thought it through very carefully & then hired me to help them with the sale of their home.

We talked a lot about the market, current, past, anticipated.

The one thing, admittedly, I had not thought of was the infamous Millenials and the size of homes they were likely going to be interested in when their time to buy finally hits.  My seller brought a good point up. Based upon their needs, their desires for quick, speedy, etc.....would a large home be something they will be interested in? Will they want to have to take care of a large yard, extra bedrooms, let alone a formal living room that hardly ever gets used?

Or are they going to be interested in just enough space?

With no wasted areas, no huge yards?

I'm not sure. I'd love a Millennial to tell us their thoughts though!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Bubble, Bubble, Buffett Says No Bubble

I have been asked it frequently in the last few months. What with the still tight housing inventory and the prices continuing to climb. Are we in a bubble?

Warren Buffett says no. He's a pretty smart dude. "I don't see a nationwide bubble in real estate right now at all", were his comments at the annual shareholders meeting of Berkshire Hathaway this past Saturday.

Well, let's see now. Are prices where they were when we collapsed 10 years ago? No. Are loans being given as freely as they were 10 years ago? No. Was it cheaper to buy a home 4 years ago than now? Yes. Oh well, you missed that cheapo boat but rates are still low.

Personal opinion/story here. Sold our family house in 2006 for 670. Bought a gorgeous townhouse for just me same year for 610. That house would be worth about 550 now, and the townhouse about 500.

So, if we have any reduction of pricing that's going to happen...it won't be catastrophic like almost 10 years ago. Sure, we may, and we already have a bit out here a couple years ago after the 10-15% increase in values in 2011-2012, see a stall. We may also see a lapse of 5%....IMHO. Will we see a 35-50 loss in values in the immediate future? Nope, don't think so. That was a serious CRASH, and a little up/down is a healthier market. Slow appreciation is best, we all know that. But, another severe crash/bubble coming? Not in my opinion.

What's yours?