Friday, December 30, 2016

Moving Into A New Year!

Here it is, Friday December 30th, 2016. Going out with my last client for the year this afternoon. A new client though, so we'll get something going for 2017! She already has a buyer for her home and wants to move into a larger home closer to the freeway. I can do that!

I work alone, no buyers agent, no sellers agent, no in house escrow coordinator or office manager. I did, finally, hire a freelance transaction coordinator this year. She has been a wonderful addition!

My business year was FANTASTIC. No complaints at all. With basically just little ole me, I managed to help 20 people move in and out of homes for 2016. Trust me, that's a lot!

So, I appreciate those that put their faith in me. Some were repeat clients, some old friends, some referred to me by people that have confidence in my skills as a Realtor.

I do surround myself with an excellent team of affiliates. My favorite escrow team, home inspector, title, home warranty, lenders. Without them I can't take care of my clients to the degree I, and they, expect!

Sunday starts 2017. Sheesh, I am in awe that we are already coming to that awe.

The reason for this post? Just to say Thank You to my clients, friends, family, affiliates. Those that have helped me through an extremely difficult personal situation, and still continue to know that I will never shirk my duty to them while we are working on one of the most important decisions of their life.

As I say, and my peeps know this, Onward & Forward. May 2017 bring all of us what we need & love. And, of course, if you know someone that wants to buy or sell in 2017, I'll take great care of the responsibility you bestow upon me when you give them my name!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Closets, Closets, Closets!

I don't know any woman that doesn't like a walk-in closet. Nope, not a single one. And, I've yet to meet a man that is not impressed with a well done & organized walk-in closet/storage system as well.

My townhouse has a spectacularly organized closet, complete with tie rack, belt holder, purse shelf, shoe rack, drawers, etc. Unfortunately I don't live there anymore. That's a rental property now.

Our current home has a huge walk-in closet....but just closet rods, shelves that were put in by the builder and a couple dressers we tossed in when we first bought our current home. I kept thinking I would do the super-duper closet storage thing....some day. But, alas, I still haven't....some day....maybe.....

But, I share with you some of the items I love in large, systematized, closets....for my dream closet!

We've all seen the center closet island. Love, yes
....but, love the windows more!

I don't wear a lot of make-up, but I do like this mirrored make-up station.

Right now I sit on the edge of my tub to put my shoes on, 
that little sitting spot is pretty sweet though.

And, instead of taking up space in the closet...
how about using the space between the walls for shoe storage near an exit door?!?!?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

First Buyer Escrow to Crash & Burn & More!

I've been at this for almost 15 years. I had two of my buyers withdraw their offers within 24 hours of acceptance years ago. I had a buyer cancel on my Seller once, after they had removed all their contingencies, long time ago on that one too. Yes, Seller kept the buyers deposit, that was part of the contract.

Last week, one of my clients had their lender fail in their duties to provide the loan they had pre-approved them for. Very late in the escrow....but, before my clients had removed their loan contingency.

It wasn't one of my preferred lenders, it was an on-line lender. Ugh. Last time I worked with one of those it was a challenge, but with a lot of pestering, we got it done. So, I told my clients I was up for the challenge!

The pre-approval seemed aok. They were just finishing up a refi, the lender had all their income documentation for that, right? I sure thought they did. Then, on the purchase, just before we should have been removing final contingencies...lender threw a wrench in the works & said we had to change loan programs to make this work.

Long story short, it did not work. 
So, Crash & Burn.....

Quite honestly, that's not the point of this post. The listing agent.....and the sellers selected escrow....that's the point. And, it's something a prospective Seller needs to be completely aware of.

So, here is the guts ~

1) Escrow was not contingent upon the Seller getting a replacement property. During the inspection, Seller told us she was moving out of state and, if my memory serves me, buying some land to build a home. Nice. Good for her, right? 

2) HOA Documents are in the contract as whomever is supposed to pay any upfront fee, does it within a specified time period. Well, the Seller didn't, her escrow company fronted the 500+ smackers to order the docs.

3) Listing agent did not follow the time lines in the contract....for our contingency removal. 

4) Seller apparently put a non-refundable deposit on an apartment and airline ticket....before we removed all our contingencies.

5) Now, since we crashed & singed, listing agents preferred lender tried to see if he could make it happen. Yesterday we found out he could not due to the amount of cash needed to close in his complete burn on this escrow.

The finale? Seller signed our contract cancellation instructions, escrow let us know about the fact that they paid the upfront fee, seller is apparently losing a few k cash, and my buyers deposit is being held until we get to some resolution of the HOA upfront doc fee. 

So, prospective Sellers? Hire an agent that follows the contract & monitors the buyers contingency removals. Don't put up moolah on something else unless you know you're in a sure thing. Select an escrow that follows a contract as well.

Waiting for a finish, but as a courtesy, I've offered to pay 1/2 the fee......and, now....I'm doing my favorite thing....waiting for this to get squared away. I'm going to call the escrow company as soon as I finish publishing this to light a fire under their butts.

Can I get a 'Good Luck'?

Friday, December 9, 2016

SCV & Surrounding Communities Housing Sales Activity 12/9/2016

Good morning blog readers! Hope you guys are almost ready for the holidays. We're getting there!

Sales stats today? Acton to the east, Stevenson Ranch to the West, Newhall in the South, and Castaic up North. Those are the areas I'm talking about...and of course the hoods in between!

Active listings in our MLS as of this moment ~ 551

Under contract/in Escrow ~ 501

Closed Escrow in the last 30 days ~ 310

This includes homes, condos, townhouses. Well, anything that is classified in the MLS those ways!

Any questions about Real Estate in So. Cal, just ask!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

I Found It Interesting, So I Share!

I'm presuming you've all heard of a 'Conforming Loan Limit'? The amount of a loan for a standard interest rate. Before it goes into jumbo status.

So, one of the lenders that regularly sends me info passed this along. I think it's very interesting, educational, and very cool.

I could have gone back and done the research myself, but Ta-Da, here it is for me & you.

Year over year, some decades, where the Freddie & Fannie Conforming Loan Limit sat....well, since 1990.


See how during boom times the limit jumped up? And, during times of housing stayed exactly the same? 

So, now that it's bumped up a bit, what does that mean? Well, I'd have to think, and so does the lender that sent it to me, our market is stabilizing, healthy, and can handle a bit of a bump!

Cool, I tell ya, very, very cool.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Throwing It In The Pot!

Working with another great group of agents, well me & the ones I'm in immediate contact with, on a home that was originally due to close on 12/6/16.

We will be closing late. But, everyone is working hard to get it closed.

I don't like asking other agents to give up any of their hard earned money. The listing agent on this one was uncomfortable about it too.

But, sometimes you have to throw some moolah,
in the communal pot, to make it happen!

Sellers are throwing in a bunch, listing agents are throwing in a bunch more, lender is tossing in a handful, I'm throwing in more, and my buyers are tossing in some their own way as well.

Because we all want the same thing. A home to sell from one to another. One to buy their replacement home, one to have their vacation home. Agents who want clients happy. We do what we gotta do. 

It's worth it. Absolutely, totally, worth it. And, remember, some negotiations are had practically til the end of an escrow!