Archive for September, 2008

Orange County California ranks high for value!

Posted on September 28, 2008. Filed under: First Time Buyer help |

If you are looking to buy a home in Orange County, you are making a wise investment.  The “OC” is ranked #7 in the country for median home values for top-ranked US counties.  In fact, 8 of the 10 counties are here in California with the only Southern California county being Orange County.

6 Orange County cities ranked among the 25 cities with the highest home values in the Country; Newport Beach, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Mission Viejo, Costa Mesa and Yorba Linda.

This means, it is really a BUYERS MARKET.  Home prices may be dropping, but still at a level where they are considered the best in the country.  The advantage of course is you, as a buyer can buy your dream home NOW and know you made a secure investment.

With FHA options financing 97% of your loan, you come up with ONLY 3% down. This 3% can come from GIFT MONEY which is money given to you for this down payment, from family, friends, employers, anyone or anywhere.  Consider this option when signing another year on your lease (apartment or home) or putting off buying, thinking that you don’t have the money for the down payment.

The WEEKS TEAM is here for you and your housing needs.  Don’t sign another year on that lease before you look at the options of owning your dream home!

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OMG It’s an economical EARTHQUAKE! What to do from a financial planner’s perspective…

Posted on September 19, 2008. Filed under: Informed Investor Alliance, Making Life Easier | Tags: |

Special thanks to William Jordan, our favorite Orange County financial planner, for taking time out from his hectic week to help educate our clients on what is REALLY going on with the economy right now.  Mike & I highly encourage all of you to call your financial advisors this week, and if you don’t have a financial advisor, go and talk to William at his Laguna Hills office – he rocks 🙂 

It’s an earthquake!
 
This week, the financial markets were shaken with an earthquake unlike almost anything we have seen in our lifetimes!  The one similar example is the infamous “black Monday” on October 19th, 1987.  On that one day, the stock market dropped over 500 points for the first time ever.  A decline of more than 25% which dwarfs the declines we saw this week.
 
So what do we do?  Panic?  Run for the hills?  Convert your cash to gold and start buying ammunition?  Of course not.  But to hear it discussed in some circles, that’s exactly what should happen.
 
On Monday evening, I was interviewed on CNBC in the midst of the “AIG crisis”.  Yet another massive financial firm experiencing financial duress.  I was asked what my counsel was to people who have been told to “buy and hold”.  The point I made was that this is a call to arms for people to get their financial houses in order.  Too many people have been speculating financially, and the results are as we have seen.
 
For many people, including most of my clients, this was an expected though unwelcome event.  We know that bear markets and financial downturns will happen.  In fact this bear market has currently been less severe than the average bear markets we have seen in the past!  It certainly doesn’t feel like it, but it’s true.
 
So what do you do?  For starters, do a complete financial physical on where you are at.  You need to examine your assets as well as your debts.  Look in detail at your investment holdings, and decide if you need to make changes.  Don’t make changes for just any old reason, but with a practical and well thought out plan. 
 
As I pointed out in a separate CNBC appearance a month ago, this is a great time to sell highly appreciated assets and pay capital gains.  Those tax rates are still very low historically, and are likely to rise in the future.  You can use the proceeds to pick up some excellent investments that are trading well below their values.
 
Bottom line is, like in any earthquake, don’t panic!  Stop and pick up the pieces.  Make new plans moving forward, but make them with a clear mind and well thought out options.  It’s a perfect time to meet with your financial planner if you have one, or find a new one if yours isn’t up to the task. 
 
Earthquakes happen.  Those who are prepared and don’t panic will be okay.
 
William Jordan, President of The Sentinel Group, Inc, is a well respected speaker and media resource for quality financial advice.  He’s been interviewed by CNBC, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and was a featured financial expert in Kiplinger’s September cover story.  You can reach William Jordan at (949) 380-8600 or visit www.SentinelOC.com.

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Interview with a mortgage expert – what the HECK is up with loans???

Posted on September 18, 2008. Filed under: Informed Investor Alliance, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: |

Yes, this is a blog about Orange County real estate.  But this week Mike and I have invited a couple guest bloggers to get involved, because you can’t get real estate without financing and loans.  Right now the media is all over what happened with IndyMac bank, and Fannie and Freddie.  We want you to hear from local mortgage and financial EXPERTS, not just the media, what is really going down, and how it may affect you and your current home loan situation.   The following info has been provided by Derek Beisner, one of our trusted OC CERTIFIED Mortgage Specialists.  We encourage your comments, rants, and other expert opinions on this post too!! 

 Uncertainty in Financial Markets Could Cause Dramatic Rise in Existing ARMs at Next Adjustment
If you or anyone you know has an Adjustable Rate Mortgage, this is an important point to consider. Many ARM loans are tied to the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). In fact, there are six million loans in the United States that use LIBOR to determine the interest rate and as the name suggests, many banks use this rate to lend money to each other.

But, today, banks lack confidence that the money they lend will be paid back. In light of what has happened with Lehman Brothers, IndyMac Bank and others, as well as AIG, banks are requiring much higher rates on LIBOR to offset the added risk.

The Federal Reserve Left Rates Unchanged but…
The Federal Reserve met yesterday leaving the target rate unchanged at 2.00% but just like LIBOR the actual rate being charged by banks to each other is closer to 6.00%. This again suggests that those with ARM loans should consider a refinance into historically low fixed rates.

What Happened?
Financial companies have been under attack. IndyMac was the largest bank to falter in twenty years. What brought IndyMac down was their exposure to defaulting loans. This sapped investor confidence and drove down the stock price until they filed for bankruptcy.

Following IndyMac, we saw Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch succumb and were either forced into conservatorship, to close their doors, or to sell themselves. AIG, the world’s largest insurance company was also impacted, forced to make a deal with the U.S. government to stay in business.

What You Can Do Now?
ASK AN EXPERT!  DON’T try to figure out this complicated situation yourself!!!!  I’d be happy to go over your loan situation and help you understand how the recent events may affect you, and how you can best be protected. Additionally, chaotic times like these often present opportunities. I look forward to hearing from you.

Derek Beisner
Certified Orange County loan advisor
http://www.DerekBeisner.com
949-637-9939

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Take advantage of an FHA LOAN and buy your dream house now!

Posted on September 9, 2008. Filed under: First Time Buyer help |

Why pay rent when YOU can AFFORD to buy your DREAM HOME!

We may have told you this before, but it is a  FIRST TIME BUYERS MARKET now!  Did you know:

  • A very popular FHA loan allows you to put ONLY 3% DOWN on your dream home!   
    You can finance 97% of your loan!
  • This down payment can come in the form of GIFT MONEY which can be money given to you from a relative, employer, or any other source, and repayment does not have to be implied or proven to the lender.  It is simply MONEY GIVEN TO YOU for the down payment!
     

The opportunities to buy your first home here in Orange County are endless.  Every city has desirable properties for sale that qualify for FHA and other financing incentives.

  • It is simple, not overwhelming to start the process.  Let us know your wish list.  What cities interest you, what ammenties are important to you, consider schools, commute, conveniences, etc… We will customize a search and send you properties as they hit the market.
  • Talk with a home loan specialist.  Find out exactly what you can afford.  Factor in the mortgage, taxes and homeowners association dues if applicable.  We can find out which properties are FHA eligible and help you every step of the way.

Once you know what you can afford… GO FOR IT!  Think of what matters to you most… the future of your family in your amazing new home.  Contact us at THE WEEKS TEAM for credible and sincere Loan Specialists and to create that wish list that puts you in your dream home SOONER than you imagined!

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The best time to buy your home is… NOW!

Posted on September 4, 2008. Filed under: First Time Buyer help |

 

THE TIME TO BUY IS NOW… Take advantage of all the current incentives!

 

On July 30, 2008 President Bush signed into law H.R. 3221 which is the “Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008,”. The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 is a $300 Billion program to help homeowners that may be in trouble, avoid foreclosure, and to boost confidence in the currently slow housing market in California. This legislation could have very positive results on the housing and mortgage industry, but there are time lines to consider.

 

The first thing that stands to impact many home buyers is the elimination of what is known as seller down payment assistance for FHA loans, also known as gift money, where you can be given money for your down payment without showing that as funds in your bank account, or assets you have accumulated.

However, as the legislation is written, this will be eliminated for home buyers effective October 1, so the countdown… If you are in the market to buy your first home, start the process NOW.

 

The other really exciting piece is that for first time home buyers, they have a window to qualify for up to a $7,500 tax credit. The tax credit will be 10% of the purchase price of a home, up to a maximum of the full $7500 credit. The tax credit will have to be paid back over a period of 15 years…but Washington just provided first time home buyers a 15-year interest free loan to help them buy a home!

 

We are here for you and have all the resources available to buy your first home or move into a new home. Contact us at the Weeks Team for all your housing needs.

 

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    Orange County, CA Real Estate for hip first-time buyers and investors. Plus, fun things to know and do in OC.

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