Shopping for Your Home

Friday, November 29, 2013

Low Supplies, Higher Prices, Better Homes

Low Supplies, Higher Prices, Better Homes      
Written by

Existing home sales have succumbed to the typical seasonal slowdown, but the National Association of REALTORS® says annual sales should end 10 percent higher than they were in 2012.

Housing sales are predicted to be just as high in 2014.
So what's driving housing sales?

Sales volume has remained above year-ago levels for the past 28 months.

October sales and prices are both up nearly 13 percent over October 2012. The median home price for all types of housing was $199,500, the 11th consecutive month of double-digit year-over-year increases.   
The good news there is that equity homes are selling, and that's also bringing prices up. Foreclosures and short sales were only 14 percent of homes sold, down from 25 percent a year ago.

Prices are expected to end 11 percent above last year, and then cool down to about a five percent increase in 2014.
The National Association of REALTORS® says prices are shrinking affordability which will cool home sales volume. The first sign is the decrease in the number of first-time homebuyers, down three percent from 2012.

Currently, homes are at about a five-month supply nationwide, up slightly from September. One-third of homes sold in October were on the market less than 30 days.

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 4.19 percent in October down from 4.46 percent in September.

If rates stay lower, that should offset rising prices for some homebuyers.      

Tuesday, November 19, 2013



Written by Todd Foust and Jennifer McNamara on Friday, 15 November 2013 12:20 pm

Modern homebuyers will inevitably come across one or more properties currently classified as a short sale. A short sale is an attempt by the current owner to sell a home in lieu of the bank taking it back through foreclosure proceedings, thus partially salvaging their credit rating and lifting the burden of heavy mortgage debt. The entire short sale process hinges on the hope that the bank will take a loss now, approve the sale, and eliminate the costly process of foreclosing, clearing, and reselling a home. Obviously, this is a big hope on behalf of prospective homebuyers as well and they need to understand some things in order to lessen the chance for disappointment of unapproved short sales. This is what they should know:
1. Price is usually set by the agent & seller, not bank: The agent and seller often create a very low asking price in order to attract buyers. The bank is normally unaware of the asking price; however, the bank has the final say in what an acceptable offer will be. Since the bank has the power to ultimately accept or deny offers, their lack of price awareness often leads to the process taking longer than anticipated. The bottom line is that the buyer needs to remain positive and patient throughout the entire process, sometimes even for months.
2. Loans owned by 1 bank usually better than 2: If the seller has loans owned by two different banks it is a lot more difficult to approve the short sale. This is something the agent or the buyer cannot control; it simply depends on the willingness of the bank or banks involved. While the reasons are beyond the scope of this guide, buyers should know that when the seller only has loan(s) with one bank the short sale often becomes more buyer-friendly. A savvy Realtor can let you know this type of information.
3. Lowball offers get slow or no response: Remember that the bank is typically unaware of the pricing during a short sale. When lowball offers stream into the bank they are often scoffed at and rejected, giving the prospected buyers little or no feedback. Surprisingly, it may also take painstakingly long to hear back even on good offers due to the high volume of transactions lenders are inundated with these days.
4. Agent must check comparables before submitting offer: The agent must be sure to check recent home sales in the area to give buyers a better idea of the properties that are selling. This will give the agent and the seller appropriate grounds for an asking price that will be more likely to be approved by the bank. Checking comparables will also give the buyer a better knowledge of what price homes in the neighborhood are selling for and ultimately make them a more informed homebuyer.
5. Don’t hang your hat on the property: Short sales aren’t necessarily "short." It can sometimes be a very long process. Don’t get your hopes up for just one property, keep your options open and continue to actively look at multiple properties. Buyers must remain optimistic, the right property will come along. In most areas it is completely legal and risk-free to have multiple offers out at any given time with the proper contingencies.
6. Sellers with other properties or too strong of financials may not qualify for short sale and/or may be asked to pay the difference: Sellers that own more than a handful of properties or have an extremely large net worth will probably not be eligible for short sale. In some cases the seller will be asked to pay the difference of the sale. The seller might even need to sign a promisary note stating that they will pay back all or most of the debt. This has virtually no effect on the buyer as long as the seller cooperates.
7. "Approved" prices are quickest: It is important to remember that short sales are not always timely; however, making an offer on an "approved short sale" can be a quicker process. An "approved short sale" has a price that has already been given the green light by the bank. This could be due to the fact that another interested buyer made an offer that was approved, but didn’t end up buying the property. These types of short sales are some of the most highly desirable.
8. Some banks look want strongest buyers, some want strongest offers: The bank has all the power in approving short sales. The bank can pick the most appealing buyer, which may mean different things to different banks. Some banks may prefer the buyers with large down payments while others just want the highest price regardless of down payment. Many buyers want to know if they will get a deeper discount for an all cash offer. This is very hard to predict and one will never really know until they make an offer. As long as the buyer is surrounded by a good team we would advise them to do just that.
9. Repairs are seldom done, credit is more frequent: If there are improvements that need to be made on a home, even if they are necessary to get a loan, it is often unlikely that they will be done. Typically there is some sort of credit issued and the buyer must take the responsibility of fixing anything that is broken.
10. When you get approval, must close on time: During a short sale there is no leniency with the closing escrow date as there often is in a traditional sale. During a short sale, exceptions are rarely made and the buyer must close on time. Because of this, it is important to take care of all loan paperwork immediately after opening escrow. We’d advise buyers to be extra prepared and try to have the loan finalized a few days in advance of the closing date. If there is going to be an issue that will prevent closing on time, a request for an extension will need to be made immediately. If the request is made early enough, many banks will grant an extension but don’t just assume it will happen.
Short sales can be a great opportunity to find your new home at a competitive price. A Short sale could also be a major headache that lasts for months. It is important to have a good understanding of the factors that lead to a successful short sale to make it an enjoyable and profitable experience. We hope that these tips will help you to remain positive and optimistic throughout the process.
About the Author: Todd Foust is the chief marketing executive for the FOUST Team at C21 Discovery; one of the top-selling real estate teams in Southern California. He specializes in Orange and Los Angeles Counties and operates one of the area’s most informative real estate websites. To contact him or learn more about Anaheim real estate , please visit .
About the Auther: Jennifer McNamara works as a creative marketing contributor/manager for the FOUST Teams public relations division. She is a Southern California native and specializes in translating complicated real estate knowledge into user-friendly information for local homebuyers. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Benefits of Credit Repair

The Benefits of Credit Repair
      Written by Debra Bigler on Tuesday, 12 November 2013 12:43 pm
 Why should you Consider Credit Repair? Discover the Basic Reasons!
Do you look at your credit report and think about nothing but credit repair? If yes, then perhaps it's high time to get your credit repair process started. Anyone with poor credit scores will definitely know what a low credit score can cost you. Wonder how severe the consequences are? Well, high interest rates can seriously damage your finances, period. Imagine the payments you would have to make if your interest rate increases from 5% to 15%. All in all, your poor credit score can make you pay thousands of dollars additionally per year. This is the primary reason why it is critical to look at your credit report and repair your credit score. After all, it will not only lower your interest rate, but will also help you get loans.

Credit Repair - Is it Really Helpful?
When it comes to credit scores, a single mistake can cause you serious trouble. A recent research suggests that almost 79 percent of all Americans have some type of inaccuracy, miscalculations, and negative accounts in their credit reports. A majority of these errors can hurt their credit scores badly. In these situations, credit repair is the ultimate option they can get to bring their finances back on track. The process of credit repairing is used to identify mistakes, correct the relevant information, remove negative reporting and monitor the creditors to ensure that your credit report is as accurate as possible and corrected accordingly.

Better Insurance Policies
The policies most insurance companies offer are based on the clients' credit reports. For instance, you will not get a reasonably priced insurance policy if your report suggests that you are late with paying other accounts. Thus, credit repair can clean up your credit rating and help you get substantial savings over the duration of your policy.

Better Job Options
Nowadays, many employers check an applicant's credit history as an essential step of the employment screening process. Wonder why? Well, credit reports usually disclose what resumes may never tell. Employers check credit reports to determine if an applicant has unpaid child or spouse support, has a verdict against him or her, or pays bills promptly. In instances like these, you can get a fresh start by opting for credit repair.

Better Loan or Mortgage Facilities
A low credit score can have a negative impact on your ability to get different loans. You may not get the desired loan amount or may have to make greater interest payments on the lifetime of your loans. If lenders find a poor credit score on your report, they can lower your credit limit, thus making the loan even more expensive for you. If dealerships turn you down for loans or offer very high interest rates, you have to consider going for credit repair. This will increase your chances to get your desired vehicle or own your dream home.
Since credit scores and credit reports can affect you and your loved ones in a number of ways, it is important to keep your credit score in superb condition. Credit repair doesn't only benefit individuals with a low credit score, but can do wonders for people with average credit by getting negative items off of the reports, disputing late payment information and correcting any inaccuracies on your report.

(562) 507-0754

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

How To Buy In A Seller's Market

How To Buy In A Seller's Market
      Written by on Sunday, 10 November 2013 11:31 am

Prices are rising and perhaps there are fewer homes for sale where you want to live. What can you do to put the odds in your favor?

First, get preapproved by a lender. That means sharing your financial information, going online and playing with a mortgage calculator. Give the lender the documentation she needs, such as salary stubs, revolving credit obligations, and bank statements. You'll know for certain how much you can afford, how much you need to put down to qualify and what your interest rate will be.    
 Make your must-have and wish list realistic, beginning with price. Be prepared for compromises - a bigger home vs a longer commute, or a smaller home in a preferred school district.
Shop for homes with your real estate professional. He knows the market and will give you preferential treatment if you sign a buyer's representation agreement. The agent can tap into a vast network of contacts to get the right home for you - especially homes coming onto the market before others get the chance to view them.

In a seller's market, homes sell quickly, so the homes you find online or by driving the neighborhood may already be under contract or sold before you even get the chance to see them.

Homes in the best condition will sell for top dollar. Consider homes in need of cosmetic updates or repairs. The average home purchased in 2013 was about 20 years old, up from 11 years old at the height of the housing boom. You may be able to buy at a discount, make the updates you want, and bring your home to neighborhood standards - a quick route to building equity.

When you visit open houses or new builder homes, tell the listing agent or builder's representative that you are represented by your buyer's agent. If you decide to make an offer, your buyer's agent can be instrumental in helping you negotiate.

Don't get caught up in the buying frenzy. If you need to make a full price offer or get in a bidding war, stay within your budget. Don't let yourself become house-poor; your house payment including principal, interest, taxes and insurance should be no more than about 28% of your gross monthly income. That's the conforming loan standard and it's a good guideline for homebuyers to help them buy safely within their means.

Plan to stay in your new home at least five years. To buy and sell a home at break-even or with a profit, means you must be able to pay back typical closing costs, approximately 14 percent of the buy side and sell side transactions combined.