Friday, July 21, 2017

Fannie DTI to Raise to 50%

I read the article a few weeks ago. But waited to see if it was really happening.

Fannie Mae, biggest money for home mortgages, is raising the Debt-To-Income ratio to 50%.

Yes, from 45 to 50% on July 29th.

Debt-To-Income ratios are one of the calculations used in determining a borrowers ability to repay a mortgage.  How much monthly debt vs. how much monthly income. In other words, can they afford that new mortgage payment on their current salary and still have money left over to spend for daily life?

Well, Fannie Mae has researched and decided that some people can definitely handle that higher DTI ratio. Not everyone, but some. Their justification is it will help more people get into homes.

It's not just DTI though, as two different articles remind us, it's also down payment. They both pointed at the Millennials as the group they were targeting to help buy their first home. And, one distinctly made me laugh when it noted that Millennials are accused of overspending on 'avocado toast' (hey that stuff is tasty!), that they don't have the savings for a down payment anyways so how would the increased DTI really help them get into a home.

And, of course, the other talk swirling is will this lead to another housing bust due to mortgages being given to those that can't repay....this was the final line comment that I smirked at:

At least lenders bother to verify income, demand a down-payment, and check the DTI ratio. There's a big difference between asking the maximum standard for ability to pay and basically not measuring one's ability to pay at all. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

"Nextdoor" Neighborhood Site to Launch Real Estate Ads

I'm a Realtor and I don't even like this.

I belong to one in my community and I noticed an Open House posted on it. Hmmmm, well I do have an open house scheduled this weekend but I just don't want to annoy my neighbors.

I figure, honestly, if they are interested....they are already looking online at, Zillow, Redfin, many sites to find a home for sale and when they are being hosted open. Heck, I even post mine on Twitter & Facebook....which many of my associates do as well.

I like Nextdoor to help my neighbors, with finding dogs, locating packages, offering a referral for a dry cleaner...that kind of thing. If someone is sharing a thief noted on the security camera. Those are important. Maybe a garage sale.

But a House for Sale? An Open House? I just don't like it. And, it's just about the money. Realtors paying for a 'lead', paying for a prime spot on the feed. It's just about money.

I do believe that getting my listings in front of as many eyes as possible is absolutely valuable. Don't get me wrong on that. But, this Nextdoor site was set up to help neighbors, not to sell homes.

If me, a 15 year veteran Realtor doesn't want to see homes for sale on my neighborhoods Nextdoor site, how do the rest of you feel? I think a bunch of us will stop using it, and then there goes the great reason it was set up to begin with. Neighbors networking with and helping each other.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Nope, It's Not A Car Model!

It's the number of active listings today in Santa Clarita Valley
 & our surrounding communities.

Yep, as of July 11, 2017 @ 8:18 am we have 595 active listings in SCV. Acton to the East, Stevenson Ranch to the West. Newhall to the South, Castaic to the North....and everything in between.

Yes, it includes townhouses, condos, and single family homes!

610 currently in escrow. 397 closed escrow in the last 30 days.

I did this count on June 2nd, and active was 543. We have 10% more inventory.

Questions about our market or what your home is worth? Just give me a jingle!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Kitchen Storage Ideas I Hadn't Seen Yet!

I always get excited when house hunting with buyers and we see a well organized kitchen. With soft close drawers/cabinets. Ones that have pull out shelves in the pantry or pot drawers too!

But, these gems....these I haven't seen before & they are so worth sharing!

Okay, how many of us have those canisters on the counter right now?
If we have them in a drawer, they are a tangled mess!

I don't have a lot of linens. Not a table cloth gal. 
But for those of you that are, oh so much better than folded up in a drawer!

THIS is fantabulous! Those pesky things we keep under the sink? 
Hate crawling on the floor to find the ones hidden in the back? 
This would make that issue go away!

Okay, I know...waste an entire drawer for a plug-in place?
Puleeze....this would turn into your junk drawer AND plug-in place!
Love it!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Moving Pieces Is One Thing - Moving Without Breaking A Piece Is Another

About to close an escrow, lucky # 13 for the year, today.

Buyers agent e-mails me yesterday "with all those moving pieces" you made this easy...or something like that. I just re-read his email. 'For all the moving parts, I really enjoyed working with you. I hope we can do it again soon.' See? told ya, something like my first sentence!

But, he's right. We did have a lot of moving parts. A lot of things to put together. A lot of items that had to go just so. 4 homes in a row. One closed escrow about a week after we opened. Box checked off. Another just closed yesterday, box checked off. Mine will close today, box #3 checked off. My peeps purchase, out of state, will close tomorrow or next day. Final box checked off!

We had a ton of open communication between all agents. My escrow talking to all other escrows. Transaction coordinators following paper needs. Sellers & Buyers doing everything in as timely a manner as humanly possible.

With everyone doing what they're supposed to be doing, when they are supposed to be doing it? Moving pieces is exciting vs. annoying!

Happy that this chain of four homes is finishing up as stress-less as possible! With no broken parts at all!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Fights During Your Home Buying Process - How To Keep Them At Bay

They are going to happen. A quarrel, a slight disagreement,
 possibly a full blown argument.

Maybe not quite like the picture, but expect some entanglement with your partner during the home buying process. It's a very stressful time in your life & when tension is high, the likelihood of a spat is higher!

I read an article this morning that said a couple that was together for 5 years or more were less likely to argue during the process.

Well, of course! 5 years, they are much more settled in the relationship. Much more able to handle stressful situations.

But, to help keep the tension at bay, no matter what relationship time-frame you are in...follow these simple rules.

1) Write a list, together & separate, of what you want in a home. A list of 10 things. Expect to get 7, expect those things to change as you progress in the home search.
2) Sit down with your lender...together....on this one together for discuss qualifications & what your monthly payments will be. Make sure you BOTH are comfortable with the numbers.
3) This is the willing to compromise. Funny how that's the most important part in any relationship, right? Compromise.
4) Patience. The biggest rule of all. Be patient. You can't force a situation to happen. 

I don't recommend compromising on your financial decisions. I do recommend compromising on your list of 10 items that you want in a home.

I don't recommend being patient to the tune of expecting to get champagne on a beer budget. But, I do recommend being patient....and find the right home.

Trust me on those 4 rules.....follow my lead...take my guidance.....we'll work together to keep the home buying process as fight-free as possible!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Location, Location, Location - Rental Values

Westridge Valencia....3 bedroom townhouse....rents for 2600-3000.

Canyon Country......3 bedroom house.....rents for about 2200?

But, in West Los Angeles? Mar Vista to be exact? 3 bedroom home.....rents for a minimum of 4000/month!

Holy cow!

We talk about it all the time with purchases. BUT, it doesn't just mean for your personal residence. It means for all your rental properties as well.

Location, location, location.....ever important for ANY real estate purchase!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

To Paint an Accent Wall or Not To Paint an Accent Wall.....

Why the heck not?!?!? Read something today that says accent walls are going out of style. Hmmmm, well, who cares about what's in style when you're living in and enjoying your home.

Accent walls can add such a lovely burst of color. Can change the mood of a room, can change the mood you're in too.

And, best part? They are CHEAP to do. Really, a gallon of paint, a bit of masking tape, a little sweat equity and've got a whole new vibe in your room.

What do you think of these ones?

I think they are all beautiful, yes, even this orange one at the bottom!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Home Loan Rates Provided By One Of My Trusted Lenders

Just a bit of info about current home loan rates. 
4% for a 30 year fixed conventional loan amount.....Wowza......

Remember though, not all rates apply to all borrowers!

  • 30-year fixed conventional loan - 4.000% (4.069 APR). Loan amounts up to $424,100.00 = $2024.72
  • 15-year fixed conventional loan - 3.250% (3.370 APR). Loan amounts up to $424,100.00 = $2980.02
  • 5/1 ARM - Fixed for 5 years and then becomes variable - 3.375% - (3.480 APR) Loans up to $424,100.00 = $1874.93
  • 7/1 ARM - Fixed for 7 years and then becomes variable - 3.625% - (3.734 APR) Loans up to $424,100.00 = $1934.11
  • 10/1 ARM - Fixed for 10 years and then becomes variable - 3.750 - (3.871 APR) Loans up to $424,100.00 = $1964.07
  • 30-year fixed FHA loan - 3.625% (4.659 APR). Loan amounts up to $424,100.00 = 1967.96+ $305.66 PMI= $2273.62
  • 30-year fixed VA loan - 3.625% (3.848 APR). Loan amounts up to $424,100.00 = $1934.11
  • 30-year fixed Jumbo loan - 4.250% (4.261 APR). Loan amounts up to $3,000,000.00 = $14,758.20

Friday, June 2, 2017

New Wave of Homebuyers?

Well, hells bells, we better get some more inventory before we get a new wave of homebuyers!

Our current inventory in Santa Clarita, and surrounding communities, is only 542 active homes for sale.

With the article I just read about 6 million Americans having prior bks' fall off their credit reports.....we definitely will have more buyers.

I know several that are waiting for just that!

So, unless we get more inventory...I'm thinking another rise in home prices. Add the changes in interest rates and we will have more people wanting to buy, but struggling to afford yet again.

We need more new construction, more re-sale homes.....we need them now.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Just a Story of The Week About E-Mails/Texts vs. Phones

In Real Estate all e-mails need to be kept for 3 years. Those actually are part of the transaction. Texts can be discarded. Phone calls too.

But, while I keep e-mails for important....don't tell me otherwise kind of info......texts are great for short responses.

Phone calls though? Those are important for tone. Not dial tone! Emotional, Attitude, Tone!

I'm working with an agent right now. She talks A LOT! So, quite honestly, I'd prefer to get e-mails or texts....unless I've got nothing else better to do than talk with her.

But, for some stuff, a phone call is just more important. Sometimes we can sound one way on e-mail or text, and it's entirely different than how we want to sound, so a phone call is vital to keep the transaction 'friendly'.

It's funny, not just in Real Estate....but in Real Life.....a phone call you can hear the other persons tone....e-mail and text....can be misconstrued easily.

Just sayin........

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Getting Myself Outside Again!

I re-did some seating and planting in my backyard a couple years ago. Added fountains, potted plants, a glider bench.

But I still didn't find myself sitting out there. No sipper of coffee in the mornings. Or wine in the evening.

I need to get more fresh air though!

So, I'm thinking about my back yard again. Houzz prompted me to consider some areas that just won't let me say no to getting outside and sitting in them!

What about bugs crawling around in the bushes?!?

Not so enticing to me.

Yep, I do like a fire pit.

But this....this would draw me outside!!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Sales Activity for Santa Clarita Valley May 19, 2017

Keeping people in the know about home sales activity in Santa Clarita Valley and our locally surrounding communities!

Acton to the East, Stevenson Ranch to the West, Newhall to the South, Castaic to the North and all little sweet neighborhoods in between!

We currently have a whopping 531 active properties for sale. Yep, 531!

Under contract or in escrow? 699! Wowza! Lots are likely home of choice situations, 
waiting for sellers to find replacement properties to get closed on.

Sold in the last 30 days is a nice high 382!

Any questions about our local market & beyond? Just ask!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Loan Contingencies In Real Estate Contracts

Got an interesting issue and due to rules and regulations I can't get someone to move forward if they don't want to change lenders.

So, I share this story with you...

A listing of mine is in a track that has litigation. A homeowner is suing the HOA for water damage to their property.

I find out every bit of info from the HOA. I research who's been doing loans in there this year. I provide the lender for buyer a letter from the HOA's attorney...which he gives the 'thumbs-up' to and we accept offer and open escrow.

Now, on the day we are to have final loan contingency removed.....lender is stating issues with litigation.

I tell buyers agent, move your buyer over to my lender that knows he can get it done. Buyer is feeling an allegiance to his lender he says. I say what? Who cares, move that sucker over.

In the Purchase agreement it states that buyer has a loan contingency about rate, down payment, etc.....nothing about he'll only buy the property if he gets to use his lender.

But, if I say "Hey, we have a lender that can do it, you can't cancel"
.....I'm coercing him to use the lender I recommended....regardless of the fact that mine can and right now, his can't.

Ugh. I understand the coercion issue. But, if we have another choice, that can close the escrow.....why the heck wouldn't buyer jump on it?!?!?

Monday, May 8, 2017

A Couple of Valid Points About Why More Sellers Aren't Selling

I read everything I can get my hands on that is Real Estate related. I share things that I feel you may find worthy of learning or just an interesting tidbit.

We all know that our inventory is tight, tight, tight. It's hard to find a home to purchase. In the price category that everyone else is looking in that is!

Quick read of 'Why The Housing Market Is Struggling With Low Inventory' on Housing Wire today...and two very valid points were presented!

1) LOW INVENTORY ~ One of the main reasons for low inventory, is, ironically, the fear of low inventory. Homeowners are hesitant to put their home on the market as they are unsure if they will be able to find a new home in their budget once they sell theirs.

Totally understandable! But, get out there and look at what's available before you list your home. Make sure you see a few homes that are interesting for you. Don't make your replacement home desires an impossible wish though. Just like a first time buyer, get 7 out of 10. That should be achievable!

2) MORTGAGE RATES ~ As mortgage rates rise, homeowners are less likely to put their homes up for sale because they don't want to forfeit their current low interest rate.

Oh yes, totally get this one too! But, go to your trusted mortgage adviser and have them run numbers for you. See what the difference is. Decide if the next home you desire is more financially feasible than you are worried about. You just may find that an extra 50 bucks a month is worth it!

There were a couple of other points...but these were so good I had to share! 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

When Looking at Your Forever Home

Things to keep in mind. I hear everything when I'm looking at homes. With people of all ages.

Anyone that is close to my age, I remind them that getting older is right around the corner & to be aware of how long they plan on staying in this home we're looking to purchase.

Reading Houzz today and it reminded me about a few things that I hadn't thought of to keep in mind when looking at a home you plan to retire in or you are considering your forever home.

The above picture is a single family residence....not an old age group home.
BUT, notice.....a full covered porch with no step to get into front door. 
Great for rain and slower moving people!

This shower is beautiful. Yes indeedy. Again though, realize (thank you to Houzz and current clients) that the lack of entrance step makes it much easier as we age to get in and out of a shower!

And open house guest pointed this out to me. Everyone....young the laundry room upstairs.....until you don't want to climb stairs anymore! 

Just some food for thought!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Fannie Mae Mortgage Guideline Changes

Thank you Brian Woolley of HomeBridge Financial Services
for providing this information to share with you all!

Nice changes by Fannie Mae:

Debts Paid By Others – this is big!  If you can prove that a debt has been paid by another party for 12 months, it no longer needs to be counted in their debt ratios.  Previously, the debt must have been a joint account with the paying party.

Properties Recently Listed For Sale/Cash-Out Refinances – Fannie Mae will no longer require a 6 month waiting period for a homeowner to take cash out of the property if it has been listed for sale.  It would just need to be taken off the market before funding the cash-out refinance.

Student Loans – Fannie Mae will now accept the payment reported on the credit report.  Many people have income based payments that were previously not allowed and we were to use a higher payment amount for underwriting. 

Student Loan Refinance – if a borrower refinances a home and uses equity to pay off student loans, Fannie Mae will not consider it a “cash-out” refinance and have “cash-out” fees associated with the rate.

Truncated Account Numbers on Bank/Asset Statements – in order to help borrowers protect non-public information, Fannie Mae no longer requires the full account number showing on the bank/asset statements as long as the last 4 digits are showing.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Offers & Counter Offers

So, this seems like such a simple thing, right? Buyer writes an offer on a listing, seller responds with a counter offer, buyer hopefully accepts.

Got a couple right now. In the middle of counter offers.

Both were countered based upon conversations between agents regarding our respective clients.

Easy Peasy, right?

Sometimes, what seems like the simplest of things, creates more challenges.

One has a sale of home contingency that the buyers agents' broker says those buyers have to keep that contingency in place til the close of escrow. I'm saying....nope. Another offer is waiting in the wings.

Another is a straight buyer that we're working around my Sellers home of choice contingency. Again, after drafting it upon discussion....he wants to 'chat' this morning. I've got 2 other offers....I don't feel like chatting. LOL

I remind you, a career in Real Estate is not for the weak. Nor the weak minded! 
Let's see how these two pan out!

And yes, sometimes it does feel like a game of Tug-of-War!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Home Sales Activity April 21, 2017

Keeping my peeps informed is important to me. It helps you/them to make smart decisions regarding home sales and purchases.

With that you are......sales activity for Santa Clarita Valley & our surrounding communities!

Currently we have 506 active listings. On all property types.

In escrow there are 633.

Sold in the last 30 days? A robust 348.

Happy that we are still closing over 300 homes per month, not as happy that our inventory still remains so low.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Some Should Just Hang Up Their Hat

This is a rant blog. So, don't read it if you don't want to hear me complain! I don't do it often, but there is a reason for the rant, and something you should know before you select an agent to represent you during one of the most important times of your life.

Just finishing up a challenging escrow. I am representing the sweetest buyers. Super nice couple with huge hearts. First time home buying experience. Worked towards this point in their life and trusted me to assist them.

We find a home they want, write an offer, get it accepted.

Now, any escrow will have a hiccup or two, the end is usually the most rocky. Final loan conditions, etc. Their lender was phenomenal, worked tirelessly through every hiccup involved.

My job is the heaviest in the first couple of weeks. Making sure the property is exactly what they want, no major defects, and that the contract is adhered to.

Herein is where this listing agent should really hang up their hat and do their other part-time business full time. Get out of my arena and stay out.

Reports due at certain times. If not, it can create a delay. Truthfulness is vital. If you screw up, hone it, and fix it. Don't blow it off. Don't ignore it. Don't lie about it. That will ultimately bite you in the butt. This listing agent did not do their job for their seller & it created quite the mess. The worst part? The agent just said 'too bad' basically. The Seller? Nicest guy. The agents guidance for their seller? The worst I've ever, truly, ever seen. 

I do a lot of nagging during the process. Generally I stay very polite, nice, but still nudge for what we need. This one was so bad that I finally just stopped responding to their messages. They were all b.s anyways. Thankfully there was a co-agent who cleaned up the mess as best as possible.

Moral of this story/rant? Pick your listing agent wisely. Find referrals online, ask the agent for references, check sales, are they full-time Realtors, can you talk to a past seller, any past clients that are willing to tell you how it went during the process? It will save you a lot of stress in the long me on that.

For me? If I ever see one of this agents listings again....I'll avoid it like the plague. If they write an offer on one of mine? They will be at the bottom of the pile. I don't want any of my buyers or sellers to go through this agents nightmare work ethics (lack of) ever again.

Okay, I'm done! 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Bathtub or Shower?

When helping people with their homes, remodeling questions, buying wishes...I notice that people with small children definitely want a bathtub somewhere in the house.

A wee bit older love the ease of stepping into just a shower, but love a bench to sit down on while bathing.

Then, the middle of the crowd....still love the soaking tub for relaxing after long days.

So, when remodeling, keep re-sale in mind. Hopefully if you want to get rid of your shower in tub combo, you have space to still have a soaking tub and one of these beautiful showers as well!

From my favorite home decorating site Houzz,
 peek at the link directly below, and let me know your thoughts!

Hopefully you don't still have one of these!

Pretty cool, right?

Friday, April 7, 2017

I Keep Losing My Pals!

Seems like about once a month a friend, past client, old neighbor, etc. contacts me about possibly selling their home and moving out of the area....more so are moving completely out of state.

I am saddened every time it happens. Happy for them, happy to help, but still a tweak of woe does plague me.

These are my baby-boomer pals. The ones that are close to my age, close to retirement, already retired. Kids grown up, spread out over the US.

These peeps want to downsize or just go where life is less of the hustle and bustle, less of the expense of California, maybe more liberal, maybe more conservative. So many reasons.

I knew it was coming. Saw the writing on the wall, but after reading yet another article about my generation selling big homes for smaller and/or other areas....the twinge in my heart pinched yet again.

Most are quite excited. They've owned their homes for a long enough period of time that they have good equity. They want to go into the next step of their lives with no mortgage, or at least certainly less of one!

If this is something you've been thinking about, be sure to talk to your tax adviser and also your Realtor, there are things that need to be done in both areas to get the most out of your current home to get you into that next one!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Home Loan Interest Rates Today April 4, 2017

Just keeping informed! Thanks to one of my associate lenders for providing this information:

• 30-year fixed conventional loan 20% down - 4.125% (4.176 APR). Loan amounts up to $424,100.00 = $2055.40

• 15-year fixed conventional loan 20% down - 3.375% (3.464 APR). Loan amounts up to $424,100.00 = $3005.85

• 5/1 ARM - 20% down - Fixed for 5 years and then becomes variable - 3.250% - (3.308 APR) Loan amounts up to $424,100.00 = $1845.71

• 7/1 ARM - 20% down - Fixed for 7 years and then becomes variable - 3.625% - (3.734APR) Loan amounts up to $424,100.00 = $1934.11

• 10/1 ARM - 20% down - Fixed for 10 years and then becomes variable - 3.750 - (3.871 APR) Loan amounts up to $424,100.00 = $1964.07

• 30-year fixed FHA loan - 3.5% down - 3.750% (4.797 APR). Loan amounts up to $424,100.00 = 1998.44 + $305.66 PMI = $2304.10

• 30-year fixed VA loan - 0% down - 3.750% (3.989 APR). Loan amounts up to $424,100.00 = $1964.07

• 30-year fixed Jumbo loan - 25% down - 4.250% (4.263 APR). Loan amounts up to $3,000,000.00 = $14,758.20

Remember, these are just quotes 
and your personal FICO score + down payment you choose
 may change things!

Friday, March 24, 2017

When Age Factors Into HOA Dues

I read an article this morning about the rates that HOA's have been raising their dues. Appears that the North West and quite a bit on the East Coast have jumped significantly.

But, since I read the article, it made me think of something to share.

Santa Clarita, I frequently call it 'The Town of New'. So much newer construction, and people love new, that I nick-named it that many years ago.

So, let's segue into HOA dues and why some are higher than others and what to consider, & look for, when seeking your next home that carries an HOA.

HOA's for single family homes are to cover costs of community amenities, like a pool or clubhouse. But, for attached dwellings, like condos and townhouses, they are covering structures as well.

Just like your car, properties age and require maintenance to keep them in tip-top shape, right?

So, look at an older property, fall in love.....then check the HOA reserve study to make sure the HOA has been stashing enough money to cover big a new roof, or new pool equipment, full re-painting of exterior, or new asphalt for the private roads or driveways included in the HOA. Those can be expensive.

If the HOA is putting enough in reserves, the standard is 10%, then you are probably okay without having a special assessment added when they need to do something costly to maintain the property. If they are prepared.....for a special assessment to hit......and those can be a drag. Or, if the HOA knows a big project is coming up in a few years they may significantly raise their dues to cover that.

Yes, the board has to vote the increase in, but the board also has to protect the well being of the properties.

So, beware of older buildings with low HOA's, beware of HOA's not putting/having enough in reserves. Be knowledgeable in your home search!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

More Homes Should Have These

There are a few housing tracks in Santa Clarita that I've seen the pass through type of kitchen window. Or the ones that have a bar right outside the kitchen window for the same purpose, to make outside cooking/entertaining a bit easier.

These take it to the next level. 
Something that surely can be done after you buy a home,
 but I'd love to see the new construction homes put a few of these in. 
How About You??

For all those times my hubby forgets a sauce or spice while he's BBQ-ing.....instead of dragging open the sliding glass door, this would be sweet to have to pass it out to him!

I saw this in white too. Not sure I like the mini garage door look on this style.
 Like it more if it opens automatically though!

Now this? Love this.....lots!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Sales Activity March 17, 2017

Today is St. Patrick's Day! Doesn't matter other than people will wear a lot of green today, right?

Acton, Agua Dulce, Canyon Country, Saugus, Newhall, Valencia, Stevenson Ranch, Castaic, Val Verde.....all included in this Santa Clarita Valley sales round-up for today!

Active listings in our community ~ 463
Under contract/In escrow ~ 561
Sold in the last 30 days ~ 292

Means what? We have 1.5 month supply of homes. What else does that mean? It's a Sellers market.

Call me if you want to be part of this Sellers market today!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Big Three Changing Fico Score Reporting Again

Equifax, TransUnion, Experian are removing tax lien and civil judgement data starting around July 1st. Well, from a lot of peoples' credit report, possibly 12 million U.S. consumers will benefit from this change

I'm not sure I'm really reading this correctly? Well, yes, I actually am.

This is the reported reason why/how: The firms will do so if those data don't include a complete list of at least three data points - a person's name, address, and either a social security number or date of birth.

Well, why would they remove a negative payment/credit/judgement item from someones credit report? Shouldn't lenders of money know if someone hasn't paid their taxes? Isn't it important to know if there is a civil judgement against someone that may be applying for a half million dollar loan?

Well, I'm okay....mostly.....with the civil judgement.

 But, a Tax Lien? No, I'm not really okay with that.

 Unless the applicant can prove regular payments, 
and extenuating circumstances for that tax lien to begin with.
I'd probably be sorta okay with that scenario.

What Say You?

Friday, March 10, 2017

Home of Choice Contingency - What's That?


Nope, not gonna!

That's the basics of it. And, it can be problematic when inventory is so low!

A lot of Home of Choice contingencies right now. Just people finally having enough equity to move but, quite frequently, don't want to move into any temporary housing until they find a replacement home. So, the buyer has to wait til Sellers find, and get accepted on, another home.

Sounds easy? Hah. When inventory is tight, Sellers have lots of buyers to pick from. That is a challenge for a Seller that is contingent upon their home actually closing escrow to then close on a new one.

See the spider web getting more and more tangled here?

Not a lot of homes to pick from in total. Not a lot in that particular Seller, that is also now a Buyer's, price range. Cut that down further with the competition on many homes...and we've got a bigger challenge.

But, most buyers are willing to stick it out for Seller to find their replacement property. Normal is 17 days to find. I've got a buyer right now that is extending that time for another 7 to Seller. BUT, we locked in my Buyers loan rate as...oh yes, rates crept now we really need to get that Seller a home!!

If you are completely confused by this, just call me....I'll explain it even further!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Keeping Buyers & Sellers At a Distance

A huge part of selling a home or buying a home is handled with your respective Realtor. Seller has theirs, Buyer has theirs.

It's rare that the Buyers or Sellers meet until we're about to close escrow. Even then, it's not a common thing.

A couple of times this month I've been at a property inspection and the Buyers & Sellers actually have met.

Seemingly they got along very well. I recommend to clients not to get in the friend zone with the other party. Sometimes the friend zone becomes a battle zone.

Buyer/Seller meet # 1 ~ Buyer was super happy to be there, so excited about her upcoming adventure. Seller? Seemingly nice, but definitely would have preferred if we got the heck out of there. And, lo & behold, these Sellers declined to do any repairs requested by my client....regardless of how teeny-weeny the requests were.

Buyer/Seller meet # 2 ~ Buyers, their parents, me, home inspector, and Mr. Seller all meet. We're practically having a party it's so much fun. Seller and father hit it off so well they exchanged phone numbers and father offered to assist Seller with a couple of fix-its before closing escrow.

Now, on # 2, we haven't done our official repair request, but based upon the warmth expressed during our 'party', I'm thinking all will be well.

Here's to hoping the warmth continues to spread and doesn't go cold when Mr. Seller gets the Request for Repairs! Cuz, then? We're out of the friend zone for sure!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Overpriced Listings

In a community where we have approximately 400 properties for sale, there is pretty much only one reason why a home is still on the market.

Because there is a buyer for every home. And, if it's not in an age specific community, and available to any and all people to should be selling pretty dang quickly.....if priced correctly. Well, okay, if it's in the 1M price range, we do have less buyers for that. But even those are moving!

I'm working with many buyers right now. Most properties are flying off the MLS, multiple offers, etc.

But, if a Seller lists their home for 10% higher than the most recent sale? How the heck am I supposed to 'sell' that to my client?

What's that thing the young people say ~ 'Cray-Cray'. Really crazy.

Now, yes, some homes may be so fantabulous compared to the most recent comparable sale to warrant that....but most, they just are not. If I can prove to an appraiser that it's worth 50k more, so be it. If my buyer just has to have it for 50k more, well, okay then.

But, give me a 550 recent closed home sale and then show me a model match, with no significant differences at 600 list price? I'm going to suggest my buyers offer way closer to 550. They can do whatever they want to do, but I've got to guide them.

And, if we write an offer, don't get accepted by Seller....we can wait & see......they usually come down in price....eventually. But, by then? My peeps are in their new home already....and it's not an overpriced one!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Sooooooo, How Do Your Feel About Wallpaper?

When I lived in West Los Angeles, we remodeled our home and extended our kitchen. Well, we did a helluva lot more, but for this, it's about the kitchen.

I wanted something a bit french country so we put up the most lovely wallpaper with little flowers on vines. Pale of color so as not to be to obnoxious when seen by others. I loved it. Saw some pictures of it recently, and thought OMG!!! What was I thinking? HaHaHa!

When I first moved to Valencia the home we purchased had some wallpaper.....which we painstakingly removed as fast as possible. That and some hideous wood covered walls!

Surprisingly, some wallpaper is making a comeback. I suppose it's always been around, for the right room, in the right house.  For me, no one could pay me to put in wallpaper. But, I've taken it down so maybe that's why I'd never put it up again.

These rooms struck me enough to share with you. Some I liked, some not so much. But, none changed my "heels in the ground" about ever going wallpaper again!

Hope the bathroom was bigger than it looked in this picture!

This one I actually really liked!

Sweet for a childs room, right?

Um, yeah, no. That's a serious yeah, no for me.