Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Is It In A Safe Neighborhood?

When I'm working with buyers that are not familiar with the neighborhood and are concerned about safety...or what the neighborhood is like?

I drive them all around the 'hood'. Drive them in the ugly and pretty way. Drive them out, and around, for several blocks to make sure they see everything they can. Drive past local supermarkets, shopping, restaurants.

But, if I get asked, "Is It A Safe Neighborhood?" I always tell them to check with the local law enforcement. My idea of safe may be entirely different than their idea. They may mean the complete opposite from what I may be thinking.

So, this morning I have a text conversation with a buyers agent that is out of the area from one of my listings. She has out of state buyers. Wants a video of the listing, not just the virtual tour. She asks the loaded question..."How's The Area? Is It Pretty Safe?".

I've been there at least a dozen times. From when we bought it a few years ago, visiting my client, and now prepping it for sale and an open house. To me, it's totally safe. But, that's me. To my Seller, totally safe...I've never been afraid to be there. My Seller has not been broken into nor vandalized.

But, one persons safety level is another persons fear level.

I would never feel like an expert in the safety of any neighborhood, not my job, not my specialty. That's what the police department is for. To provide you info about the security of any particular neighborhood.

Just food for thought. Driving around an unknown area is wise, but investigating on your own is wiser!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Don't Forget About Your Front Yard!

Summer seems to be nearing an end...finally! So done with the heat! Are you??

And, now it's the time where you may enjoy a beverage on your front porch instead.

Looking through Houzz this morning brought these great before and after pics of front yard makeovers!

In Santa Clarita Valley we have a lot of HOA's, so make sure you can do what you want to do before you do it! Just sayin!



Before.....very cute to start!

After......talk about 'curb' appeal!

Before....apparently on a busy street per article.

After........, great way to enjoy your busy street front yard!

Whaddya think??

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Lies? Or Just Not Thorough?

Just a story of the week. But, it reminds me of my first broker.....when I complained about an agent that lied to me.....'Welcome to the World of Sales'. My chin hit the floor.

Got an offer in on one of my listings. Did my due diligence, checked out the lender, the agent, asked for proof of funds. Spoke directly with the lender to verify that he had in fact reviewed income documentation and 2 additional documents as the borrowers had a couple specifics that had to be met.

He said yes, all good. Confirmed, or so I was told, that he had the items needed to make it happen. Even ran the numbers again for a higher purchase price.

And, then, the buyers agent sends me an e-mail, as we're waiting for our counter offer to be signed, that one of the specifics needed wasn't able to be provided.

At first, I sorta wondered if they just blamed the lender and didn't really want to move forward. But, the agent is trying a different lender under a different loan program....so, all things point to.....

You guessed it, Pinocchio, aka Liar!

Definitely not thorough enough, and then couple it with lying to me and saying he had the specific documents?

Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to know if he was lying in the beginning. There is private info on the 2 docs I asked if he had, and some amount of trust needs to happen, but the most important one? He most definitely did.....not....have it.....turd!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Home Loan Rates September 5, 2017

Thanks to some of my local lenders, me keeping up with current interest rates for home loans is a simpler task than finding Buyers a home!

Not everyone will be able to get these rates due to FICO's, debt, etc. But, here's a nice baseline to keep handy.

  • 30-year fixed conventional loan - 3.875% (3.944 APR). Loan amounts up to $424,100.00 =$1994.28
  • 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 - 3.500% - (3.619 APR) Loans up to $424,100.00 = $1904.40
  • 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 - 3.500% (4.534 APR). Loan amounts up to $424,100.00 = 1937.73+ $305.66 PMI= $2243.39
  • 30-year fixed VA loan - 3.500% (3.723 APR). Loan amounts up to $424,100.00 = $1904.40 (VA Funding Fees is not added)
  • 30-year fixed Jumbo loan - 4.125% (4.131 APR). Loan amounts up to $3,000,000.00 = $14,539.49

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

This Might Work ~ But, Doubtful....Unless You Use The Last Suggestion.

How to win during a multiple offer situation....against an all CASH buyer?

That's hard. It's really, really hard.

From a listing agent standpoint, cash is king...if it's a reasonable offer. No waiting for an appraisal, no waiting for loan approval. No waiting for much of anything past the inspection. Just less hands in the cookie jar as mums used to say.

Read an article this morning that suggested these 5 things to beat out a cash buyer....only the last one will truly work though.....IMHO. Let me know your thoughts!

1. Work closely with your lender:
I mean very closely – to the point of having their cell phone number memorized. Your lender is a vital piece of this puzzle – make sure you know exactly what you need to have to make a complete bid.
2. Get fully approved for a loan:
Being pre-qualified is not enough in a competitive market, where waiting several days – or even hours, in some cases – to get fully approved for a loan can cost you the home of your dreams. So before you bid, get your loan approved contingent on appraisal of the home value. Taking this one extra step will put you on the same footing as cash bidders in the eyes of the seller’s agent, who will see your approval ‘as good as cash.’
3. Have your lender call the seller’s agent to give them peace of mind about your bid:
A phone call immediately after bid submission from your lender can go a long way in reassuring the seller that your loan-backed bid really is as good as cash, especially if it is coming from a trusted, certified third party.
4. Write a personalized letter to the seller expressing your interest in the home:
When you have a seller who is attached to their property and interested in seeing it go to the right buyer, a personalized letter could be the strategic advantage that gets you a winning bid. In many cases, cash offers are made by investors looking to either flip the home or convert it to a rental property. If you are a couple looking to raise a family in that home, stating that intention in the letter could appeal to the seller’s emotional side and close the deal in your favor.
5. Submit a complete, clean contract:
The less work you make for the seller’s agent, the better, so please, send a contract with legible writing, complete responses and all the necessary information. If you can resist, don’t ask for closing costs or home warranties, and don’t leave anything unanswered – if an agent is confused or delayed by your contract, they’ll simply move on to the next in the pile.
6. Give a higher offer than the listing price – and cash bid.
If you can afford it, offering between $5,000 to $20,000 on top of the asking price may be the most surefire way to close the deal against a cash bidder. In the end, money talks – no matter what form it’s coming in.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

I'm Always Bothered When I Have To Disappoint Another Agent.....

Every once in a while I have to disappoint another agent, usually when I am representing the Seller....and, then of course, they are representing the buyer.

But, I've always got to do what's best for my client....no matter what!

Story of the week.....

Buyers are out of town, so their agent comes to view property on their behalf. I've done it. Actually have a buyer in escrow right now that I had viewed property on their behalf. That's another story though!

So, their agent says it's the perfect home for them. Says he's done several transactions with them and he knows they will love it in person. They are contingent upon the sale of their home but it's in escrow. They live out of the area, so does their agent, and the lender is also the Realtor. I'm still AOK with this scenario. Reviewed all documents, MLS, his licensing too.

The photos on this particular property really are beautiful. But, this home is even more lovely viewed in real life. There's a first for everything, right!?!?!?

Continue story here.....so buyers sign an offer the moment they are back in town and set up an appointment to view home a few days later.

We submit a counter offer, teeny-weeny....minuscule...no change in price, just 3 clean-up items. That goes out on a Friday. On Saturday we get an offer from another buyer. Good offer, non-contingent, clean, local agent, local lender. First buyers are due to view Sunday at 9 am.

My Seller says he feels it's best to wait til the original offer people view the home and let them know they have to sign that counter offer immediately or we are going to look at the other offer more seriously. I was in total agreement, felt it was fair.

I let the 2nd buyers agent know, and she says....her buyers are willing to go to full price if sellers accept before the other ones come to view.

Remember, these buyers are non-contingent.....and they bumped up to full price....and they are local, live in the area, agent and lender are in the area too. All of those add up to a problem for the first buyers.

Because they did not quickly sign off on our teeny-weeny counter offer. Because they couldn't get to the home in a short amount of time. Because, because, because.

I hated making the call to the first agent, his buyers were very disappointed. I reminded him he would have done the same if he were in my shoes.

My job is to get my Sellers the most amount of money, in the shortest amount of time, with the least amount of stress possible.

With the 2nd buyers, that's much more likely to happen.

So, welcome buyer one...to disappointment. But, remember this...'what's meant to be will be'....I swear by it. Welcome buyer two...to one helluva a lovely home!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Earmarking Money for AFTER Closing Escrow

Everyone saves to buy a home, right? Well, or you sell a home and buy another with the proceeds. Yes, I suppose you could have an inheritance and use that as your down payment.

Whatever the way you are buying your first, next, or last home...keep in mind, it's not just the 3.5 to 20% (or more) down that you need. It's not just that extra money for closing costs either.

It's money for a rainy day you say? That is super important for sure.

BUT, it's the money you need to have earmarked for allllll the stuff you want to buy for your new home once you move in!

Furniture, appliances, drapes, plantation shutters. Not just talking about the kitchen remodel you want to do and have stashed the appropriate cash for that.

It's the everyday things, the new house has one extra bedroom to furnish. The couch you made sure would fit in the new house just looks unappealing in it's new surroundings. That white fridge you had? Doesn't quite go with the appliances in your new kitchen.

One more thing to consider? Ask your trusted Realtor if any of the things you are thinking about upgrading in your new home are going to be a benefit or a detriment to re-sale value. You likely won't stay there forever and it just may be a waste of big dollars and not get the ROI you were hoping for.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Over 600! But, Only By One!

It's been over a month since I noted the sales activity in my home town of Santa Clarita and our surrounding communities.

We currently have 601 active listings. Acton to the East, Stevenson Ranch to the West, Newhall on the Southern border and Castaic up high in the North. Of course, all our sweet neighborhoods in between as well.

601 includes homes, condos, townhouses. That's it. And, like this building....that is up from a month ago...but not by much.

And, if it weren't for the closed in 30 day number at 380 and the number 583 representing currently how many homes are in escrow....we'd be okay. But, with only 601, and closing over 300 every month....that's only a 2 month supply....still.....

So, give us some more listings to sell you darn Sellers with equity. We want them, buyers want them....we need them!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Barn Doors - Obviously Not Just For Horses Anymore!

I just happen to be getting a lot of clients talking about Barn Doors, installing Barn Doors, and sharing their Barn Doors (pictures of) with me!

So, I googled more barn doors and wanted to share with you!

I'd love to put one in. Can't quite figure out where to do it. Thought about my hallway entrance, but since most of the time it would be open...I didn't really have a large bare wall for it to 'rest' without having to remove my pretty mirror....but, it would go really well in our home, and it would help with the noise when hubby is watching TV late at night and I'm sleeping!

See? Isn't this spot just screaming for a Barn Door?

But, what made me chuckle is the picture of the true barn door! See the horse? Those are the old barn doors that people used to have in homes. I had one in my WLA house, a 1/2 & 1/2 type door. Loved it. I think THOSE were called Barn, or Dutch doors? Can't remember.

But, these new style barn doors can be made in so many different styles. I have a friend that put them up on a huge wall...just so it looked like there was a window behind it! Very cool.

If you're considering installing one, take a look at these.....some different ideas.....not your typical Barn Doors....and a more standard one too!

What cha think??

Friday, August 4, 2017

Trader Joe's....Whole Foods....There Goes The Neighborhood!

Actually, they apparently help neighborhood homes appreciate in value quicker than before either of those stores moved in!

And, when compared to Dunkin Donuts? Well, it's a good thing DD is trying a re-branding to just Dunkin.....LOL

Anywhohow....good ole Zillow did the market research and determined that when Whole Foods or Trader Joe's moves into a neighborhood, the homes become more expensive.

They weren't sure if those retailers were just great at picking up & coming locations, or if having them there drew more interest to the communities they opened in.

I can tell you, from experience, I get buyers that frequently say "Oh, I can walk to yada-yada" if we buy this home.....they never say that about a donut chain!

I'm curious what my readers think?

Friday, July 28, 2017

To Do An Open House Or Not To Do An Open House?

Read an article this morning about the guy that was arrested for a brutal stabbing to death of a Real Estate agent in Texas 10 years ago.

This blog isn't about him.

I did so many open houses when I was first in the business, 15 years ago. And, a lot of newbies do open houses as well. Great way to meet prospective clients.

For me, if I do one now, it's mostly to get more exposure. You never know when a buyer will walk into the open house on one of your listings.

Who knows, maybe their agent just said it wasn't the right house for them but their buyer noticed it was open...so went to visit.

I don't care if a buyer that comes to my open houses is working with an agent or not. The idea is to get my listing sold!

But, back on the murder!

When I do an open house alone....I never follow a client upstairs. I'm not going to get trapped up there!

If an odd looking duck walks in...women follow your gut on this one...someone that just gives off a weird vibe...I stay near the front door.

I always keep my keys with me too. Remember the old 'Keys Between Your Knuckles'? that your momma taught you?

Yep, my keys in my pocket with them in between my knuckles!

And, never, ever, put your back to an open house guest. Because, you just never know.

Note to my Sellers.....be sure to hide all valuables....particularly the upstairs ones. AND, always check doors and windows for being locked...I've heard rumor of open houses being set up for robbery later. 

Yes, I will do your Open House...but I will protect myself first and foremost. Second.....I will sell your home any way I can.....and live to close the escrow for you.

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 Realtor.com, Zillow, Redfin, Trulia....so 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 sure......to discuss qualifications & what your monthly payments will be. Make sure you BOTH are comfortable with the numbers.
3) This is the biggie.....be 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 reasonable...to 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 poof.....you'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 this....an open house guest pointed this out to me. Everyone....young particularly....love 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.