Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Check Your Homeowners Insurance!

If you leave near me and are on that Nextdoor site, just skip this blog post.

But, if you're not.....holy house, keep reading!

Your home is likely your most valuable asset, right? You keep insurance on it, just like your car, to protect it from fire, etc.

You get your bill a couple times a year, maybe you have auto-pay set up, and you get solicitations from them now and again that you sometimes just.....well, this person did....toss in the trash without opening?

Eeeeeeck.........please take a moment right now....to verify that in fact, you still have insurance on your home.

I'm not going to say which company, but IMHO, they are the most difficult to deal with out here in Santa Clarita, a notice of cancellation was sent to this homeowner and he thought it was just more junk mail. Turns out they felt he was too close to the brush. We do have a lot of that in our fair valley.

I'm a bit OCD, very happy about it. I have a couple business auto-pays set up. My website host people, my lockbox thing, a couple more.

My household stuff....I look at each and every bill and pay them accordingly. I did miss one of the hubby's car payments once....whoops!

So, this is truly just a PSA, if you're 100% sure you paid your insurance bill, and all is good, no worries then. But, if you're only 99% sure, take a peek. Nothing could be worse than thinking you're insured and having a catastrophe that is not covered.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Forms, Forms, & More Forms...

I must say, probably the most important aspect a licensed Realtor can provide is the explanation of all the paperwork & forms involved in buying or selling your home.

Yes, we suggest the price, but Seller decides what they are comfortable starting and ending with.

Yes, we share the sales data, but Buyer decides what they are comfortable starting and ending with too.

Sure, an escrow officer can probably help you with some forms. Some forms. Maybe.

But, if you Mr/Ms/Miss/Mrs Buyer/Seller had to read, understand, learn, and then explain to another party what all the forms mean, you'd probably pull your hair out and be at the closing table bald as a baby.

Let's ask....how many of you know what a COP form is? Oh lordy, and the many different ideas of how it's to be used. Part of a company round table discussion just a couple weeks ago!

And, what about the WCMD? The RR? The RCSD? That's just a few of many, many, many forms that should be utilized when you buy or sell a home in California. Depending on the circumstances during the sale of the property.

But, honestly, knowing what they mean is only a small part of it. You must know how and when to use them to protect a client. Realtors are responsible for protecting their clients from missing something. Getting something wrong. Doing everything right. Mistakes can be corrected, most of the time.

But, if you're about to buy or sell a home....it'd be best if no mistakes were made. Am I right? Best if all the Real Estate legal requirements are adhered to.....because, listen in here.....that could be one big fat headache later if you haven't.

I pride myself and my transaction coordinator, my company, our office managers & support staff for knowing what forms, when, what they mean, how to explain, which ones go with what transactions.

Yup, I know these things. BUT, if I don't know for sure...I'm not gonna fake it....I'm gonna find out so that YOU are protected. On that you can bet your life savings.

Promise. Oh, hey, how about the NBP? .

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Home Gyms And the 'Magic' Mirror

Perusing Houzz articles this morning....and deleting more 'We Want You Back' emails from LA Fitness (which I cancelled my membership about 5-8 years ago)....thought I'd share some info from an article about how to create a home gym you actually want to use!

As much as you can create a fantastic home gym...if it's not your thing....no matter how perfect, you're not gonna use it unless you really want to.

But, of course, making it pleasing to the eye will help. The full article is here: Houzz Home Gyms

There was actually one in the article about rock climbing. Be careful...yes, your favorite Realtor here....on anything permanent you put up. You decide to move and the next homeowner may have zero interest in your permanently bolted on rock stuff!

This one is mine. I had hubby put up mirrors. There is a lovely window as well.
Everything I need to get a good workout ~ 3 days per week!

Um, hello, yes!!! For a sweet yoga workout. 
But, shouldn't it be a bit softer lighting for relaxing yoga?

Now this! I'd love to have this view when working out. 
The fresh air during the sweaty workout? Oh yeah!

I'm not quite done yet.....CHECK THIS OUT ~ 'Magic' Workout Mirror

See? I have a TV in my exercise room...that I never turn on.
I've been wanting to take some classes.....but I'd have to do it on their schedule, not mine.
I have that video thing so I can do some stuff in my living room....BUT.....
I totally dig this thing!!!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Fines, Penalties, Jail Time

Sheesh, everything I seem to be reading about Real Estate, well, other than Zillow paid someone a MILLION dollars to get their Zestimates better, is about catching the bad guy related to real estate deals.

With that said...on Zillow....let's be serious here. You can get a rough idea of home values by looking on Zillow. Seriously rough. They are not in the trenches so forget about them really getting the right value just from staring at a computer and doing some calculations.

Forget About It Right Now!

But, on the topic of the blog? WOWZA, I mean I'm reading about millions of dollars, tons of jail time, penalties up the wazoo!

Because why? Because some schmuck (I think I spelled that right) or schmuck-ette (yeah, that's not really a word) decided to take advantage of people. Advantage of someone over the most important purchase of their lives?

I'd like to shoot them. Well, not really.....with an arrow through the heart maybe? LOLOL

So, if there are so many bad ones out there, Realtors, Lenders, Mortgage people, Brokers......do not, repeating here...DO NOT....work with a Realtor or Lender that has not been referred to you by a trusted source.

There are a ton of us out here. Good, Bad, Ugly. And, you definitely have a friend, co-worker, financial adviser, family member....someone you trust.....that can steer you in the right direction.

Don't make the mistake of a lifetime.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Santa Clarita Home Sales Info & That Dreaded PMI

Good Morning!!! Just a quickie bit of info on the homes sales activity in the beautiful Santa Clarita Valley and our surrounding communities.

Acton, Agua Dulce, Canyon Country, Saugus, Valencia, Newhall, Stevenson Ranch, & Val Verde

Right at this moment we have 650 homes available for sale. Condos, townhouses, single family residences.

In escrow are a whopping 354. Buyer & Seller have come to an agreement and are working through inspections, disclosures, appraisals, etc.

Sold in the last 30 days sits at 171. Not that many, but the Spring season is coming! 

So, you want to buy a house, or you want to sell yours? What's with that PMI? For a Seller, who cares? You're getting money regardless, so skip this part.

For a Buyer, PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) is tacked onto your loan if you do less than 20% down because you are a greater risk to the lender. When that happens they've got to cover their tush if the cloud breaks on your finances and it rains debt that doesn't allow you to pay your mortgage. 

But, dang, do you have to pay that PMI forever??? Currently, below is the way to get rid of that dang extra payment. Thanks to one of my lender pals for putting it in easy-to-read language. So there you go!

To get rid of PMI on a conventional loan you must wait 2 years and have 25% equity in your home, or wait 5 years and have 20% equity in your home.  You must not have late payments in the past 12 months and you would need an appraisal to prove your equity position.  FHA, the PMI is with you for the life of the loan unless you put down more than 10%.  Then the PMI is there for 11 years! 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

What Do I Want To Blog About Today?

Sometimes the Real Estate news is fascinating....sometimes I feel like it's the same old thing.

Twice yesterday though I had someone ask me 'How's The Market'? So, that prompted my blog subject today.

The one is a prospective buyer, should we buy now? My answer? In complete and total honesty was that, even without a crystal ball, the market would correct in a couple of years. Not like a decade ago, but certainly a correction of sorts.

With that said, I reminded the buyer that the market would continue to have some annual appreciation with the likelihood of interest rates going up until that correction took place and then you'd pretty much be in the same dollars per month boat.

But, I did put the last statement to her as ...... you should plan on being in your home for the long run. Not a couple of years, but for a good long while.

The other was a client that I had shown homes to a couple years ago. They didn't pull the trigger and have since decided to move out of state. I said there was a reason we didn't buy a home then!

For him, I told him it was a bit quiet. Some periods are like that. Real Estate is always a rain when it pours situation. Well, not always, but a lot. So, I've just kept reaching out to my data base, letting them know I am here for any help they need.

I've been planning a Client Appreciation Party, been able to spend some time out of my office bowling for boobies (cancer), meeting new people watching the Bachelor (I know, right?), and, although it wasn't a success, had the time to have a chunky blanket party of my own!

There, that's how the market is. It's a regular Real Estate Roller Coaster market....like it has been for the last 17 years I've been helping people In & Out of homes.