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!