5  Beginner tips for first timers buying a home in los angeles

5 Beginner tips for first timers buying a home in los angeles

 

By Sandy Flores Broker

5 BEGINNER TIPS FOR FIRST TIMERS BUYING A HOME IN LOS ANGELES, CA

In the past three years, prices of homes in Los Angeles have soared by 30 percent. In many areas, you’ll find a seller’s market. Only a three months’ supply of home available with 5,538 properties (single family homes and condos) sold in the past 6 months. Experts predict a seller’s market in 5 months’ time in Los Angeles and you can expect prices to go higher in coming years. So, if you’re still waiting to buy a home in Los Angeles, don’t wait too long.

But jumping in hastily isn’t recommended either. It’s possible for first time buyers to get too excited about the home buying prospect and rush in. Follow these 5 tips to avoid first time home buyer mistakes when buying a home in Los Angeles:

  1. How much house can I afford?

How much can you really afford? You need to determine how much of the monthly mortgage payments you’ll be comfortable with. Apart from meeting with a lender and reviewing your finances, there should be some soul-searching. Experts advise against going for the most expensive home you qualify for, unless you can truly bear the costs that come along with it.

  1. Be prepared

As a first timer, buying a home in Los Angeles presents you with so many options, yet you need to be prepared for rigid competition. If you are not paying cash, you should get a pre-approval from your lender before you proceed with buying a home in Los Angeles. Cash buyers tend to be more attractive to sellers because then the seller wouldn’t have to wait for the lender to approve a loan. You will need to have a down payment that’ll cover at least 20 percent of the selling price, and you may still face a bidding war for the home of your dreams.

  1. Check the down payment assistance program

Before you buy, check to see if you qualify for one of the down payment assistance programs. In Orange County, a family of four may qualify for state and federal assistance, even with an income as high as $108,350.

  1. Research The Neighborhood

Your knowledge of the area shouldn’t just be based on what your realtor told you. Research the neighborhood yourself during the day and at night. Converse with the locals at “Mom-and-Pop” stores, cafes, restaurants, markets, etc.

Immersing yourself into the neighborhood as a “local” will help you catch information that will not be disclosed by your realtor. This will give you a pellucid picture of the area.

  1. Choose the best Realtor

The truth is; agents deal with enormous amounts of problems and stress. Most of them are expert problem solvers, have “insider” information about properties/areas and can get you a great price on your home through great negotiation skills.

But just like in virtually any vocation, there will be the good and the bad. An inexperienced agent will set you back in time, money and can decrease your likelihood of getting the property you truly want. You need the best hands when buying a home in Los Angeles as a first timer, Give me a call 714.963.7462. Let’s find your dream home!

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How Do we improve the air quality in our Homes?

 Usually the most effective way to improve indoor air quality is to eliminate individual sources of air pollution or to reduce their emissions. Some sources, like those that contain asbestos, can be sealed or enclosed; others, like gas stoves, can be adjusted to decrease the amount of emissions. In many cases, source control for air quality is also a more cost-efficient approach to protecting indoor air quality than increasing ventilation because increasing ventilation can increase energy costs.

Most home heating and cooling systems, including forced air heating systems, do not mechanically bring fresh air into the house. Opening windows and doors, operating window or attic fans, when the weather permits, or running a window air conditioner with the vent control open increases the outdoor ventilation rate and serves as a simple form of air cleaners. Local bathroom or kitchen fans that exhaust outdoors remove contaminants directly from the room where the fan is located and increase the outdoor air ventilation rate.

It is particularly important to take as many of these steps as possible while you are involved in short-term activities that can generate high levels of pollutants–for example, painting, paint stripping, heating with kerosene heaters, cooking, or engaging in maintenance and hobby activities such as welding, soldering, sanding, model making and gluing.

However, remember that for most indoor air quality problems in the home, source control is the most effective solution.

How Do Homes Impact Health?

  1. Indoor air pollution is 4 – 5 times worse than outdoor air and sometimes even greater.
  2. We spend 90% of our time indoors.
  3. 15% of homeowners may be allergic to elements in their own homes.
  4. Prevalence of asthma has double since 1976.

Indoor air pollution has been described by EPA and Congress as America’s number one environmental health problem. Air pollutants can and do cause allergies, sick building syndrome, bacterial infections and spread viruses to name a few. The American College of Allergists state that 50% of all illnesses are caused by polluted indoor air.  NEXT: How does our air inside the house get polluted?

Are you better off fixing or buying a home?

Are you better off fixing or buying a home?

There is neither a specific answer nor one size fits all!  There are plenty of considerations to review. First of all, your financial ability and market demands are some of the factors to survey before deciding if it’s wiser to find a new dream home or fix your current home.Luxury Home Kitchen.

Before considering renovating your existing home, take an inventory of your home’s physical current condition, and deal with contractors for renovation costs. Major home renovations bring stress, unexpected complications and budget overruns. Depending on the age of your current home, you may also have to jump through additional hoops to meet newer building code requirements.

Purchasing a new home could actually cost you less monthly than renovating your home depending on its age, and types of renovations you’re considering. If you intend on financing renovation costs,  find out how much you will be adding to your existing mortgage, home equity loan or line of credit  versus obtaining a new home mortgage.

Keep in mind that even if you renovate your older home, in a future buyer’s eyes, it’s still an older home. It is a good idea to have a sense of the market activity in your neighborhood to consider trading up or renovating your current home. The main purpose of home renovations is primarily to increase your home’s enjoyment. While you may be able to recoup some or most of the costs during the home’s sale, there are no guarantees.

Opening Doors for Homebuyers!

Opening Doors for Homebuyers!

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is the first of six financial regulators to release the final version of the long-awaited qualified residential mortgage (QRM) rule. The National Association of Realtors applauds this action because it will make possible to incorporate rules that include a broad definition for Qualified Mortgage standards implemented earlier this year.

Got your House?

Got your House?

Under the QRM rule, loans are generally considered qualified if the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio is 43 percent, among other things and there is not onerous down payment requirement, as regulators had originally proposed.

The NAR strongly opposed earlier versions of the rule that included 20 and 30 percent down payment requirements, which would have denied millions of Americans access to the lowest-cost and safest mortgages

For lenders, having these two rules in alignment provides the clarity they’ve long been asking for, widening and deepening loan eligibility and availability, which has been one of the main stumbling blocks to increased home sales.

Homebuyers will have now more credit availability reflecting an increase in home purchases, and refis. Way to go!

Incrementan las Ventas de Casas existentes

Incrementan las Ventas de Casas existentes

Las Ventas de  Casas incrementaron en Septiembre a su más alto nivel en un año, dando muestras de que el sector inmobiliario esta ubicándose en forma ventajosa en nuestra economía de acuerdo al reporte presentado hoy por la Asociación Nacional de Realtors en Washington.

Es un excelente momento para vender tu casa

Es un excelente momento para vender tu casa

Las ventas de casas incrementaron 2,4% a una tasa anual de 5,17, las compras aumentaron un 1,9%. En progreso tenemos cambios que vienen del FHFA y que permitirán la otorgación de préstamos con regulaciones más accesibles atrayendo a más compradores, especialmente a los primeros compradores.

De todas las compras, las transacciones en efectivo representaron cerca del 24%, por debajo del 33% en el último año. Inversionistas el 63% de los cuales pagos en efectivo 14% del mercado, cuando en Septiembre del 2013 representaron solo el 19%. Los Primeros Compradores   representaron el 29% del mercado en Septiembre por tercer mes consecutivo y las Ventas angustiadas, representaron el 10% del total de las ventas.

Estamos conscientes de que el mercado inmobiliario ha incrementado notablemente, sin embargo todavía no podemos decir que hemos alcanzamos los niveles normales. Hay mucho más por hacer.

 

Sales of Existing Homes Increase, however not enough

Sales of Existing Homes Increase, however not enough

Sales of previously owned homes rose in September to the highest level in a year, adding to signs that residential real estate will be a plus for the economy.

National Association of Realtors reported today in Washington that closings on home sales advanced 2.4 % to 5.17 annual rate, and purchases rose 1.9% from the same month last year before adjusting for seasonal patterns.

Why this is a great time to sell your home?

Why this is a great time to sell your home?

On the way, easier lending standards and faster wage gains would attract even more buyers, including those making their first entrance to homeownership.

Sales of existing single-family homes increased 2% to an annual rate of 4.56 million in September from the prior month, also the fastest pace in a year. Purchases of multifamily properties including condominiums rose 5.2% to a 610,000 pace.

Of all purchases, cash transactions accounted for about 24%, down from 33% 12 months earlier, Investors, 63% of whom paid cash 14% of the market last month, in September 2013, they accounted for 19%. And First-time buyers accounted for 29% of the market for a third month in September. Distressed sales, accounted for 10% of the total

We are aware that residential real estate market has definitely gotten better; however it has not fully recovered. There is a lot more to be done!

Homeownership at Best!

Homeownership at Best!

Federal Housing Finance Agency has been working towards a plan to open what many we see as underwriting standards that are too restrictive.

Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, their regulator and lenders are close to an agreement that could greatly expand mortgage credit while helping lenders protect themselves from charges of making bad loans, according to people familiar with the matter.

Homeownership getting better!

Homeownership Gets Better!

If the agreement is completed, lenders may be more willing to lend to borrowers with lower credit scores and smaller down payments.

Now that lenders are starting to remove some of the credit overlays, it is time to improve the growth of homeownership in the country

We expect FHFA to report the steps to further move and clarify lender liability and support the return of the 97% LTV product at the GSEs, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have recouped tens of billions of dollars in penalties from lenders in recent years over claims that the lenders made underwriting mistakes on loans they sold to the mortgage giants.

However, Lenders have blamed those penalties for tight credit conditions and for prompting them to make loans only to borrowers with near-pristine credit.

We hope these initiatives will have a meaningful impact on the mortgage market, and we can see positive changes in the direction of the mortgages industry after years of tightening credit issues.

Next Tuesday will see the existing home sales report for September, on Thursday the FHFA purchase-only house price index for August, and Friday the new home sales report.

 

Save on your Mortgage NOW!

HELOCs the next thing home credit product? Mortgage rates are historically low, and many owners have the opportunity to take advantage, but not all owners pay close attention to these numbers.  

You have the opportunity to investigate the possibility of refinancing through HARP or stream line if your loan is FHA to take advantage of the historic rates.  

You can analyze  what financial options give you the best interest rate and  most convenient terms according to your personal situation, and you do this by comparing these rates from various financial institutions through the Good Faith Estimate. This simple action prompts banks to be more competitive and offer rates lower while they. 

Mortgage rates are closely linked to the action of the Federal Reserve – Fed and the economy, so it’s important that you analyze your financial situation to see if you could take advantage of the today historic rates, before they take off.     

Let me explain with numbers in this example:

Balance of   mortgage:  $ 200,000 –

§  Interest @6.5% Monthly Payment 1,440.                                           

§  Interest @3.75% Monthly Payment $ 1,014.                                           

§  Total Savings Monthly $ 426.                                                          

§  Total Savings Per Year $5,112.

§  30 Years Total Savings  $153.360.

Check your mortgage payments,  interest rate,  balance and the pending term of the life on your loan, so you can determine if refinancing is best for you. The Government Program HARP that does not require evaluation of the value of the property, conventional and FHA  Streamline Refinance are great choices to consider allowing substantial savings.

Don’t Miss It Out!

 

 

Boost Your Home’s Selling Price!

Boost Your Home’s Selling Price!

If you’re looking to sell your home for top dollar, in addition to “Location, Location, Location” there are some other suggestions you may benefit from, to get top dollar for your home!    child and father painting wall together

As the saying goes, “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” While curb appeal gets buyers in the door, sellers who want to move their homes quickly need to take other steps.

The strategy varies by neighborhood and market conditions, but staging a house to appeal to the maximum number of buyers can make difference in how fast the home sells.

If you have a limited budget, here are some tips that can make your house to sell for a top dollar:

  • Add color to you landscape by either replacing flower beds or potted flowers, along with fresh sod.
  • Replacing light fixtures and plumbing fixtures will give your home a modern touch for a minimal investment.
  • Consider removing popcorn ceilings; however you need to be careful because popcorn ceilings of pre-1979 homes are likely to contain asbestos, and you need someone licensed to remove it.
  • Remove window treatments, unless they are current and high-end. That cuts the risk of turning off would-be buyers who don’t share your taste, and uncovered windows that will let more light into the rooms.
  • If you’re using your dining or a bedroom as an office for example, turn it back to their original use.
  • Replace dirty or worn carpet, you’re better off removing the carpet if there are hardwood floors underneath.
  • Unclutter your house by packing away items that you will not use on an every day basis. You want the new family to envision themselves living in the home.
  • A deep cleaning before you put your home on the market is a must, so everything shines.
  • Repaint all rooms in neutral colors. A fresh coat of paint also makes the house look newer and more modern.

With a few simple, low-cost tweaks, you can significantly enhance your house’s curb appeal. Focus on low cost improvements. Since every dollar counts, devote your time in renovations that’ll bring you a return.