Tag Archives: market

Money Monday: The housing affordability for good schools

For many in California, homes are not economically affordable in good-school areas.

“RealtyTrac analyzed school test scores for nearly 27,000 elementary schools in more than 7,200 U.S. zip codes, along with home price affordability in those same zip codes.” (RealtyTrac. http://www.realtytrac.com/news/home-prices-and-sales/realtytrac-2015-good-schools-and-affordable-homes/). Then they took a look at those zip codes with good schools; “‘good’ is defined as schools that post higher-than-average test scores for their given state” (http://money.cnn.com/2015/11/19/real_estate/neighborhoods-good-schools-affordable/index.html?section=money_realestate). In the 1,823 zip codes with at least one good school, they found that 65% (1,192 zip codes) were unaffordable for those with average incomes for the area, meaning that they would have to spend more than one-third of their income on housing.

For those in the San Diego – Carlsbad areas, the good school that RealtyTrac analyzed was Einstein Academy (with a 1.37 test score in 2014), and the relational zip code being 92102. At an average sales price of $320,000, homeowners spend an average of 40% of their income on housing.

San Diego Carlsbad sales price and test score

RealtyTrac’s Most Affordable Good-School Zips by Metro map, focused in on San Diego.

If you are interested in reading more on this, go to RealtyTrac’s article on the information they found here: www.realtytrac.com/news/home-prices-and-sales/realtytrac-2015-good-schools-and-affordable-homes.

Why should you get a 15-year mortgage?

Benefits of 15-year mortgage hard to beat

Why those lured by smaller payments on 30-year loan should reconsider

By Jack Guttentag, Monday, April 30, 2012. Inman News®

The case for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages has never been stronger because, in the post-crisis market, the rate advantage over the 30-year has never been larger. The rate advantage is about 0.875 percent, whereas prior to the crisis, it was 0.375 percent to 0.5 percent.

Consider two $100,000 loans, one a 15-year at 3.125 percent and the other a 30-year at 4 percent. The respective payments are $696.61 and 477.42. After 15 years, the borrower with the 15-year loan has paid $39,454 more but is out of debt whereas the borrower with the 30-year loan still owes $64,543.

But there is a counterargument. A disciplined borrower can choose the 30-year loan and invest the difference in payment between the 30- and the 15-year loans, in that way offsetting the higher interest rate on the 30-year loan. Some financial planners recommend this approach to their clients as part of a program to build wealth faster.

The challenge in making such a program work is that the rate of return on the invested cash flow must exceed the rate on the 30-year loan by an amount that depends on how much higher the 30-year rate is than the 15-year rate…

Read the rest of this article by Jack Guttentag at Inman News here: “Benefits of 15-year mortgage hard to beat”.

Six must-haves for mortgage approval

Interest rates are hovering around historical lows, and low interest rates increase affordability, making it easier for buyers to qualify. Yet stories of buyers waiting months to gain loan approval and home purchase transactions not closing on time due to lender’s strict underwriting are all too common.

Some buyers are turned down for illogical reasons. For instance, if you have investments — even if they’re performing well — an underwriter might deny the mortgage because your portfolio doesn’t fall into the underwriter’s risk assessment model.
checklist
One couple was turned down because the husband had worked at his current job for less than a year — even though he was making more money at the new job than he was before.

These buyers were well-qualified. The wife had worked several years for one employer and was able to qualify for the loan on her own. So, the transaction closed, although two months late.

Generally, it’s more difficult to qualify now than it was a year ago. Most conventional lenders require a 20-25 percent down payment. For the lowest interest rates, your credit scores need to be in the 700 range. You need to have verifiable income and cash reserves in addition to your down payment and closing costs.

You could run into underwriting problems if you’re self-employed, as W-2 income is much easier to verify. Other hurdles are lapses in employment and owning a lot of property. Some lenders won’t lend to buyers who have more than three or four residential properties.

If you’re buying a new home before selling your current home, you’ll need to have 30 percent equity in your current home. This needs to be verified by the lender’s appraiser. Also, the lender will want to see a copy of the cashed check from the tenant for the first month’s rent to verify rental income if needed to qualify.

HOUSE HUNTING TIP: As soon as you’re serious about buying a home, find the best mortgage broker or loan agent you can to assist you. Don’t make your selection based on interest rates alone. A good track record counts for a lot.

Closing the deal should be your primary goal. If you have to pay 0.25 percent more to assure your transaction closes on time and that you’re not turned down at the last minute, it’s worth it.

Be candid with your loan professional about anything in your financial picture that might impact loan qualification. A good loan agent or broker will be able to assess your financial situation and anticipate what you’ll need to do to satisfy the underwriter.

Be aware that appraisal issues can impact your loan approval. For example, if a previous owner added square footage without a building permit, the additional square footage probably won’t be included as livable square feet.

If the appraisal comes in for less than the purchase price, the lender might not lend you enough to close the deal. Include an appraisal contingency in your contract.

There are more jumbo financing options available now. Adjustable-rate mortgages that are fixed for 10 years and then revert to an adjustable have a starting rate about 0.25 percent less than a 30-year fixed jumbo. A five-year fixed starts about 0.5 percent to 0.75 percent lower, but is riskier.

THE CLOSING: Because of the risk factor, the lender may want you to have a large cash reserve. Your retirement account counts toward this.

Dian Hymer is a real estate broker with more than 30 years’ experience and is a nationally syndicated real estate columnist and author.

4 ways to attract more buyers

Some buyers are looking for a home that’s located in a specific neighborhood. Others have more flexibility regarding where they live. But most buyers share one thing in common: They want a home that’s in move-in condition.

Start working on attracting buyers to your home by putting the property in good condition before it goes on the market. In most cases, it’s not a good idea to show your home to a prospective buyer before it’s ready to be shown. Photos should also wait until your home presents itself well.

homes for salePay attention to “curb appeal”; first impressions are lasting. Some buyers drive by without taking a look inside if they don’t like the way a house looks from the street. The yard should be clean and tidy. Replace the front lawn if it’s dead; the same goes for plants that have seen better days. Flowering plants make your home look festive and inviting.

Peeling paint should be touched up, if possible. If an entire exterior paint job is called for, consider changing the color scheme to enhance the appeal. One seller repainted the exterior of his home before selling without consulting his agent or a colorist. He repainted using the existing color scheme, which was out of date. The house didn’t sell quickly. When it did, the first thing the buyers wanted to do was change the color of the exterior.

Repair deferred maintenance, particularly if it’s visible from the street. You want to convey the impression that your home has been well maintained. If you can’t afford to repair and paint the white picket fence in front of your house, it would be better to remove it than leave it.

Houses that don’t have much architectural appeal can often be improved by the addition of shutters. Houses that don’t show much from the street can be enhanced with an architecturally intriguing gate or entryway. You want to peak buyers’ interest in seeing what they can’t see from the street.

HOUSE HUNTING TIP: List with an agent who can provide wide exposure for your home, including extensive Internet advertising. The vast majority of homebuyers search for homes online. Buyers discount Internet listings that do not have photos, and they gravitate toward those with many photos and quality photos. Make sure that the agent you list with will not put your home on the multiple listing service or Internet without plenty of quality, representative photos — 15 or more is good.

The importance of Internet advertising should not be underestimated. The Internet is global and available 24/7. Buyers often find the listing they want to buy on the Internet before their agent has seen it. After surfing the Internet, some buyers decide to buy outside the area they were focusing on if they see something elsewhere that appeals to them.

Local marketing may work in some cases, but you wouldn’t want to cut yourself short. Broad exposure of your listing to the market is an integral part of selling.

Although the buyer for your home could come from anywhere, you do want it to be exposed to the local agents. Your agent should hold the listing open for real estate agents as soon as it’s ready to be shown. Repeat broker open houses may be necessary to make sure a representative number of agents see the listing.

Public open houses are good exposure. Some buyers still find the home they buy at an open house. However, they don’t pay off like they did during the bubble market. Encourage private showings, which require that you make it easy for agents to show your home to their buyers.

THE CLOSING: The best way to attract buyers to your listing is to price it right for the market. Otherwise, all of your efforts will be for naught.

Dian Hymer, a real estate broker with more than 30 years’ experience, is a nationally syndicated real estate columnist and author of “House Hunting: The Take-Along Workbook for Home Buyers” and “Starting Out, The Complete Home Buyer’s Guide.” View the article here.

If you want to sell, I’m the Realtor for you! Give me a call at (619)337-3262!

Examine Features Now To Sell for a Good Price Later

Home for saleWhen you buy a home, chances are high that you will eventually sell as your life changes over time. In the United States, it’s estimated that homeowners change residences every five to seven years.

So when you are house hunting, it’s important to keep resale value in mind. Some features you may find desirable may not appeal to others when the time comes to put the house on the market. That would hurt both your ability to sell the house and to get a good price.

As you start your search, consider these factors that will affect resale value:

Exterior Features

Location: If you find the property that offers most of the features you are looking for and it’s going for a bargain price, don’t rush into it. There may be a reason the house is selling for a bargain, so carefully consider where the property is located. When you resell, for example, couples with small children are likely to be searching for quiet streets, large yards and proximity to shopping and schools. Rectangular lots generally sell better than oddly shaped or awkwardly situated properties. For many buyers, the determining factor is the neighborhood.  A home in a safe area will always fetch a better price than the same sized home in or near a less desirable neighborhood. In addition to a low crime rate, many buyers are also looking for a high-achieving school system.

Maintenance: A beautifully manicured lawn with landscaping may have curb appeal, but it is likely to be expensive and time consuming to keep up. You may be willing to pay a premium for it but the next buyer may not. A house with little to moderate landscaping generally has the best resale value. More buyers will also choose a home with exteriors, decks or patios that are made of low-maintenance materials.

Swimming pools: Pools can pose resale problems. Safety concerns means families with small children generally avoid them, as do buyers in regions where a pool is used only a few months of the year. Buyers will also be aware of the maintenance pools require. Keep in mind, however, in some upscale neighborhoods a pool is almost considered an essential.

Size: Resale value is also affected by the size of surrounding homes. Don’t buy the largest home in the area — a large house in the midst of smaller houses generally will sell for a lower price than if it is surrounded by homes of a similar size. Conversely, small or medium-size homes near a larger dwelling tend to increase in value.

Interior Features

Bedrooms/bathrooms: Homes with at least three bedrooms usually have good resale value. The price goes up if the master bedroom has its own bathroom. In any case, the home should have at least two bathrooms and they should be updated for resale purposes.
Kitchens: The center of many homes is the kitchen, which makes it the most important room in the house. Look for modern appliances, a large pantry, plenty of cabinets, attractive and spacious counter tops and adequate dining space. If there is a family room or dining room, the kitchen should be nearby.

Storage and space: In general, lots of closets and well-organized storage space will entice buyers, as will plenty of natural light. Walk-in closets add to the appeal, and garages boost resale value, particularly if they fit two cars. A separate laundry room is typically a great resale feature.

Character: One all-important aspect that will help sell a home is its character. A home’s distinctiveness, however subtle, can charm a buyer. Small touches such as granite counter-tops, French doors, an antique fireplace, or a picturesque view through a bay window can often cinch the deal. The more character your home has, the higher the resale value.

When buying a home, it all comes down to this: Purchase a house that suits your immediate needs and desires, but keep an eye on its resale value. You’ll reap the rewards when it’s time to move on.

This article is by BizActions.

Video: Staging your home for homesellers

What a great, snappy how-to video for homeowners putting their house on the market! MSN’s video on staging for homesellers gives you the quick tips for attracting buyers: Video: 2-Minute Home Seller: Staging

This video can be viewed on the MSN website: realestate.msn.com.

Event: Arts & Culture Fest 2011

San Diego Arts & Culture Fest 2011Celebrate arts and the cultural influences of the Americas, Africa, and Asia at the sixth annual Arts & Culture Fest in San Diego this Saturday.  Three stages of entertainment will present the influences of these three parts of the world, along with an international market and food area, art contests, wine tastings, music, and more. 

Details: Arts & Culture Fest 2011. Noon to 6 p.m. Market Creek Plaza, 310 Euclid Ave., Lincoln Park. Free.
For more information, call (619) 527-6161 or go to artsandculturefest.com

Successful Short Sale Closing Testimonial of a Current Mortgage

Here is a rare closing of a short sale that recently closed that 99% of all real estate agents can not accomplish.  The owners stayed current on their payments and the lender granted an approved short sale on a property that was an investment property.

While this is rare due to the reality that all short sales are only done if the borrower is behind in payments or, if the borrower is current, the mortgage company requires the borrower to stop payments in order for them to look at a short sale for the borrower, there are valid qualified situations that the banks will process the short sale. I have the knowledge and experience for accomplishing this task.

Since I have been doing short sales for 20 years and in two down cycle markets, you or someone you know will benefit dramatically from this result.  The benefits are that the homeowners credit rating will have little to no effect based on the credit reporting agencies guidelines.

testimonial letter

 
“Dear John,

We appreciate very much your assistance–and your crucial role–in both finding and selling the condo property at 4415, 38th in San Diego.  The latter was especially difficult in the current housing market.

We have found you to be hard-working, honest and reliable, alert as to what is going on in the area, and responsive to any of our concerns.  We would certainly recommentd you to prospective buyers and/or sellers.

Please accept the enclosed as a token of our gratitude.
Sincerely, 

Barbara S. K. and John B. K.

P.S. –And thanks for working with Katie.”

For more information and to schedule a private, no-obligation consultation right away, call me now!

 
Talk to me, an agent who has the experience that is helping people beyond what they ever thought was possible.