Lenders & Loan info

Buying Your First Home in California: How to Dig up Down Payment Funds

Posted on October 22, 2019. Filed under: Conventional Loan, FHA loans, First Time Buyer help, Foreclosure Assistance, Homeownership, Lenders & Loan info, Loan Advisor, Long Beach Homes, Los Angeles property, Los Angeles Real Estate, OC Home Fair, Orange County Real Estate, Real Estate Stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Angie & Hyepin Im, FACE FounderToday we’re spending a Saturday in Pomona at FACE LA’s Homebuying Fair – we met them through NAWRB and LOVE what these organizations stand for. FACE has compiled quite a few programs to help you with down payment funds, and have relationships with LOTS of generous banks who can help with lower interest rates, buy downs, silent seconds, and more. Sharing is caring…so read below to find some free down payment funds to get your family into a home!

Tip 1: Find a lender familiar with the Community Reinvestment Act, and align yourself with a housing non-profit like FACE.

 

There are literally programs EVERYWHERE. And they change on the regular. Don’t spend your precious time researching outdated internet options when you can meet someone face to face who will help you with free homeownership coaching and what’s available right now.

 

As of Oct 2019, when we’re writing this post, we wanted to include some snippets on current programs that could help you close the gap to your down payment goal.

 

Tip 2: Explore Down Payment Programs & properly prepare to buy a home with education

 

In LA for example there are LIPA & MIPA . The LIPA or low income purchase assistance program offers 90K in down payment funds. The MIPA or moderate income purchase assistance program offers 60K, which goes a long way even in Los Angeles.

 

Businesspeople Giving High Five In OfficeThese purchase programs (and many others) have some caveats. The home must be your primary residence, and you must pass a homebuyer education class (approx 8 hours). Did you know taking homebuyer education classes before you buy make you 30% less likely to go into foreclosure? This is why many city, bank, and state programs will require you take one before receiving funds. Everyone wants you to succeed in your homeownership venture, so there are milestones like this in place to set you up to win.

 

If you don’t like the CITY of Los Angeles traffic, maybe the County of LA’s 75K down payment program would be a better fit for you.  This program offers a second Trust Deed loan provided at 0% interest with all payments deferred until sale, transfer, refinancing, no longer owner-occupied, or full repayment of the first mortgage. HOP (Home Ownership Program) loans are available to first-time homebuyers in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County and cities participating in the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Urban County Program.

 

Maybe Los Angeles isn’t your thing at all….no worries!! CALHFA works all across the state of California for low and moderate income first time homebuyers. They finance almost everything when it comes to costs…down payment AND closing costs. You can literally close with $300 out of pocket. Yup. Read again. We’ve seen it. In OC!!!! Their requirements include 660 credit, owner occupied, and a homebuyer education class. The price cap is currently 765K.

 

The homebuyer fair today was in City of Pomona, and Pomona offers a fabulous down payment program (MAP) up to 100K! This city has some adorable craftsman homes that could use your TLC. Pomona basically does a silent second for 100K, there is no interest or payments owed by you. It does need to be paid back upon the following circumstances: sale of the home, refinance, occupancy change, or 15 years.

 

The City of Pomona loan will take a little share of your equity; if you borrowed 10% for this loan, then you need to pay back 10% of your equity upon sale to the city. This is totally fair since they gave you the same percentage to help start you out! Details include no ownership in the last 3 years, homebuying education class (by HUD), income cap requirements, and working with a lender who participates in the program.

 

 

Tip 3: Use OPM (Other People’s Money) to Help with your Down Payment

 

Here’s a video with Cain Rivera’s down payment success story testimony.  He was the youngest ever to receive a down payment from the city of LA program. Cain went from paying $1500/mo rent to UNDER $1000/mo mortgage owning his own condo in Balboa Park, and he didn’t have to leave LA to do it:

 

Tip 4: Layer your SoCal Down Payment Program benefits with bank programs too:

It was great to see so many banks offering programs to first time buyers. Here’s just a few of the programs our banking panelists talked about. If you’d like to get more info, sometime’s it’s easiest to just call FACE or check out an upcoming Home Fair – like OC Home Fair every January.

  • Bank of America currently offers a 10K grant offering in low to moderate income communities, PLUS a 7500 closing cost credit that applies to the entire country, check into it! In many states 7500 would cover the majority of your closing costs! 🙂
  • Wells Fargo has a lift program that gives 25K.
  • Boston Private has a 1% down conventional first time buyer program without mortgage insurance (when layered w other programs) that considers the entire scenario. If you’re self employed.. this is a great bank to call.
  • IMG_7409Union Bank has a 3K down payment assistance grant for closing costs or down payment assistance, which can be layered with other programs. Sorry couldn’t find the link for this exact program, but here are the low down offerings!
  • HSBC offers 7K toward closing costs for first time home buyers, and also 1/2 off your interest rate! Their credit requirement is only 620 so they are good if your credit is bad.
  • US Bank has 95-97% loan to value offerings & non-traditional credit consideration. They have a Mortgage Insurance program where they pick it up on your behalf. If you want just a lot, ask about their land program! You may also qualify for the American Dream program.
  • Bank of Hope has an in house underwriting Dept with a quick turnaround. They also waive mortgage application fees if you have an account with them.
  • Loan Depot – prides themselves on being very familiar with DAP – down payment assistance programs. They like to layer, and they can take credit as low as a 520 score.

 

These are just a few offerings and programs that are available in communities here in Southern California. Programs work if you are 20-70 years old – it’s never too late or early to consider homeownership!

 

One negative is these programs sometimes take major negotiating to get a seller to accept your offer, because they take 2x as long as a traditional escrow. You NEED a Realtor to represent you and keep the seller calm and informed.

 

Also, by the time you come across this post some of these programs may be expired, and new ones available. If you’d like us to hold your hand through the journey we’d be honored, just call or text Angie at 949-338-7408. As a 19 year old first time buyer who put only 3K down, I understand EXACTLY where you are at, and have a heart and the resources to help 🙂
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Is Seller Financing Right For You?

Posted on May 18, 2019. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Homeownership, Lenders & Loan info, Orange County Real Estate, Spring Buying Season |

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Seller financing is an agreement in which the seller handles the mortgage process instead of a financial institution. Seller financing cuts out the middleman and some of the red tape that comes with real estate transactions. The seller is the lender in this type of transaction, this allows the buyer to make payments without the hassle of a loan.

Seller financing is a better option in a buyers’ market however this benefits both the buyer and the seller of the home. Here is some quick facts about seller financing!

Pros for the Buyer!

  • Faster Closing Process – skip the bank lines. You won’t have to wait on a loan officer, underwriter or legal department to review and approve the loan application
  • Saves Money – no bank fees or appraisal costs
  • Seller financing lets people who might not be able to secure a mortgage buy a home
  • The down payment is based on an agreement between you and the seller

Pros for the Seller!

  • Sell quicker – you have the potential and ability to negotiate to sell the property “as is” without making costly repairs
  • Investment!  Earning money from the lending process
  • Retain the title: if the buyer defaults – the seller keeps the down payment and the house – rather than the bank

Take Aways:

  • Working with a real estate agent in addition to a real estate attorney is necessary. They will write the sales contract and the promissory note
  • Sellers should (and can) run a credit check
  • Buyers should offer a 10% down payment
  • Don’t forget about your credit score – it is still important and considered in the transaction

Learn more about the seller financing process here:

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/seller-financing-home-sales-30164.html

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What the hoo is an ADU?? Maximizing your Southern California Real Estate

Posted on April 16, 2019. Filed under: Accessory Dwelling Units, ADUs, AirBnB, FHA loans, First Time Buyer help, Home Improvement Ideas, Homeownership, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Los Angeles property, Los Angeles Real Estate, Orange County Home Improvement, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , |

Have you heard of an ADU?

Accessory Dwelling Units are additional legal units on your property, and they can help you earn BIG bucks. If you’d like to run a duplex or generate additional income without buying an entire new property, then adding an ADU to your lot is a GREAT option. ADU’s can cost anywhere from 20K-200K, which is waaaay cheaper than a ‘unit’ in today’s Southern California real estate market. That said, not everyone has an additional 20-200K laying around to seize this opportunity, so let’s learn how you can use other people’s money to make some of your own!

Renovation loans are NOT construction loans, so if you have never heard of one… read on. There are multiple options for reno loans, so it’s about finding your best fit. Today we were at Eric C Miller’s Finance of America’s presentation and got some details & highlights for you. Finance of America highlighted how this process benefits you!

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Orange County Renovation loan process in a nutshell:

Pre-qualification –> Offer Accepted –> Disclose –> Underwriting conditional commitment –> Assign Project manager –> Collect credit conditions –> Project Scope & bids –> Appraisal –> Clear to Close –> Sign Docs –> Close –> Begin Renovations

Fannie Mae Homestyle Renovation Loan

  • Utilizes a construction project inspector sourced by lender
  • No minimum in repairs
  • Inspection prior to draw disbursements, up to 5 draws
  • All repairs and improvements must be attached to property, and supported by appraisal
  • Borrowers have 6 months to complete improvements
  • Repairs must begin within 30 days. (it’s ok if permits are the delay…you can pull permits on a property you don’t yet own)

They can be FHA or conventional, and they are a fully amortized single close transaction. 98% of the time they appraise on resales, so don’t worry if you’re buying resale.

FHA 203K – limited

  • nothing structural,
  • limit of 35K,
  • repairs must be completed in 4 months
  • limit of only two payments to each contractor

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FHA 203K – standard

  • can tear down the entire property but MUST use the entire foundation
  • utilizes a HUD consultant.
  • 6 months to complete improvements
  • can loan up to FHA limit for the county, high balance eligible
  • owner occupants only
  • Contract lingo: “The borrower has applied for Section 203k financing, and that the contract is contingent upon mortgage approval and the borrowers acceptance of additional required improvements”…this must be in there, but is not necessary in the purchase agreement.

Things to know & next steps:

  • Choosing the right contractor and renovation team is critical! Always get multiple quotes. If you’re looking for a forward thinking Orange County ADU company, check out RC Smith Design & Build.
  • 30 day escrows won’t fly, renovation loans take 45-60 days.
  • Reno loans are TOUGH. You’ve got to coordinate bids, contractors, and make deadlines. If you’re looking for an ‘easy button’ into homeownership, this may not be it 😉 BUT then again…you could try buying one of these Amazon ADU’s and avoid MOST of the contractor back and forth 🙂
  • ADU regulations are different and ever-changing. Here’s an OC ADU resource to get started. Always check with the city to find out your guidelines before beginning work or submitting offers!

Did you know most people spend 15K on their home the first year they buy it, and they statistically put it on credit cards? Ouch. Don’t be that guy, there’s a better way! Call or text Angie to start exploring your best ADU options at 949-338-7408 or email Angie@AskAngie.com

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Orange County Area #2 in Global Relocations

Posted on December 4, 2018. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, Informed Investor Alliance, International Properties, Lenders & Loan info, Los Angeles property, Los Angeles Real Estate, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

I’ve got to hand it to OCR’s Global Committee, they ALWAYS put on such relevant and informational events. We continually try to support them and keep our CIPS education up to date 🙂 Today was the Global Forum, packed with info on how we can better serve and attract foreign buyers to beautiful Southern California. International buyers are a huge market in SoCal – read on to learn more about taking advantage of this!

Did you know the Orange County & Los Angeles area is the #2 area of interest for international buyers and global relocations? 

IMG_6967So how can we help international buyers make the most of their money, so they can close easy and afford to pay more for our properties?! One way is MoneyCorp – a unique banking tool international buyers are using to get better exchange rates and guarantee funds. Contact Andrew Graziani to learn about their no-fee / no hassle transactions. They have very small minimums to exchange, and no caps. Furthermore, they have a deep understanding of how to work with every country’s currency, which is not easy. For example, consider Brazil, one currency that bounces around up to 30% in one month, and has a ton of regulations. If you want to protect your foreign transaction, make sure to work with experts like this! There are a ton of landmines when completing a foreign transaction, as noted from our previous Global Forum.

National Economic Forecast by Lawrence Yun

Lawrence Yun is one of the most respected in our industry – as National Association of Realtors’ Chief Economist for the last 10 years… when he speaks.. we listen 🙂 Let’s start with the local picture:

Is Orange County in a Real Estate Bubble? 

Of course, the first thing everyone wonders is ‘are we in a bubble?’ One recent thing to note is the housing market has not been increasing as the job market increases, which is a bit of a bummer. Regardless, Mr Yun doesn’t see any kind of extreme correction on the horizon. Home prices are 3.5x higher since 1995. Lawrence, like the other experts at the recent WCR Economic Throwdown, doesn’t believe there is a bubble. SO STOP WORRYING :))

Seriously, don’t worry, but do always be on the lookout for risks or warning signs of a market shift

  • International trade wars
  • Rising rates and inverted yield curve
  • Shift to snowballing pessimism (perception is reality!)

We have nothing to fear but fear itself – Franklin Roosevelt

What about Interest Rates?

We are on a permanent track to increase rates, so our advice to International buyers is buyer sooner than later, the rates will only rise.

The Global Real Estate Market

Exchange rate, political environment, and comparative price appreciation are all factors that affect our foreign buyers. At this point in time, the US currency conversion is high, so we saw less foreign buyers in 2018 than in 2017. That said, we still have PLENTY of international buyers, and that is not expected to change soon, only increase. Foreigners still love to buy in the United States, overall it’s considered it very safe and secure here.

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Global Committee chair Spencer Hoo introduces 2018 Global Forum speakers

As financing, exchange rates, inventory, and immigration laws all improve, we can expect more and more foreign transactions. Currently, here’s the top 5 countries buying US homes:

  1. China
  2. Canada
  3. Mexico
  4. India
  5. United Kingdom

19% go to Florida, and 14% come here to California!

More expectations for the US market:

  • Short term uncertainty but long term solid pent-up demand
  • Next 3 years of home sales…..booooorrrrrrring. No real increases or decreases
  • Flat & even real estate market

If you’d like a consultation to make sure your home is attractive to the foreign buyer pool as our market softens a bit, just give Angie a call, text 949-338-7408, or WeChat.

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Crypto, ADU’s, & Homeownership Day 2019 – Register Here!

Posted on November 3, 2018. Filed under: Accessory Dwelling Units, ADUs, First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, International Properties, Lenders & Loan info, OC Home Fair, OC Property Management, OC Property Profiles, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , |

Want to learn more about Real Estate?

ochomefairOur annual Homeownership Day & OC Home Fair is right around the corner! We are hosting at Chapman University for the 7th year in a row on January 19th, 2019 from 10 AM – 1 PM!

Orange County Young Professionals Network, Chapman University, Orange County Realtors, and local nonprofits are putting this event together for YOU. Homeownership Day is completely FREE and taught by seasoned professionals who are passionate about helping others to change their lives through homeownership and work towards building their future.

Biggity BONUS:::::::Each attendee will be entered to win $1000:::::::courtesy of Orange County Realtors.

Homeownership Day is ‘choose your own adventure style’, where you attend only the sessions you’re interested in. This year offers twelve classes over three sessions – pick from four during each time slot! When you register online at OCHomeFair.com you are able to choose which class you want to be in during each time slot. Some of the highlighted classes this year include:

  • Buying Your First Home
  • Taking Advantage of ADU’s and Granny Flats
  • Preparing for a Market Turn – How to Protect Your Family
  • Investing to be an Automatic Millionaire
  • Buying with Cryptocurrency – What you Need to Know
  • Reverse Mortgages
  • ++++ so many other great learning opportunities that will help you get ahead.  

Learn Property Down Payment Hacks from the Best

OC Home Fair headerParticipating Nonprofits include NeighborWorksOC and Affordable Clearinghouse – offering a panel on grants, down-payment programs, and more called ‘Finding Funds to Buy Your Home’. If you are currently renting, these nonprofits are here to help YOU! Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals (VAREP) will also be hosting a class for veterans to take advantage of their housing benefits. Furthermore, Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB), will be featuring chairwoman Desiree Patno as a speaker.

Buying A Home with Bitcoin?

Featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, & Inc Magazine, cryptocurrency transaction expert Piper Moretti will teach ‘Buying with Cryptocurrency – What You Need to Know’. As crypto becomes the mainstream, it’s important to know what to expect and how to protect yourself from cyber-fraud. 

Travel much? As the world continues to shrink, Spencer Hoo is a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) active in Orange County Young Professionals Network (OCYPN) and Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA). This year Spencer is teaching our “Safely Buying and Selling International Real Estate” session.

Tired of Renting?

Orange County Realtors 2019 President Matt Clements will educate on Hassle Free Homebuying, and past Orange County Young Professionals Network chair Angie Weeks (yours truly!) will teach on David Bach’s book concepts to become “The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner”. This information is absolutely essential to anyone who wants to grow their real estate empire safely.

OC Home Fair is for Everybody. Homeownership Matters.

Investing to an Automatic Millionare!Whether you’re trying to buy your first home, or someone who owns multiple homes but is trying to grow your portfolio or buy internationally, our classes have real life applications to help everyone learn how to establish and grow a residual income stream. There is absolutely no pitching, anything to buy, or programs to subscribe to– just solid information presented by experienced industry leaders.

To join the next generation of real estate, and to educate yourself on all there is to know about safely building wealth with property, and for a complete colloquium list, please register online at OCHomeFair.com or simply fill out the form below:

We’ll see you at Chapman University on January 19th!

In the meantime, Let’s be InstaFriends! Follow us at @AskAngieTeam@OCHomeFair

You can stay in touch with all of your connections you’ll inevitably make at Homeownership Day at these by following these tags on IG & Twitter.

#OCHomeFair #HomeownershipDay

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Loan Advisor for your Southern California home

Posted on July 6, 2018. Filed under: Conventional Loan, FHA loans, First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, Lenders & Loan info, Loan Advisor, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , , , |

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Need help with a loan for your home?

We value strong work relationships so much in our line of work. Successful home buying includes many different people and many different skills, and we couldn’t be as successful as we are without the help of our favorite referrals. When our clients are needing help with a loan to purchase their home or refinance on a loan they currently have, we frequently match them with Derek Beisner at RPM Mortgage.

Derek has an ‘advance approval’ program which basically makes buyers look as good as cash investors. This approval allows us to write out the loan contingency and close a loan in 21 days. In today’s tough market, this helps our buyer offers rise to the top of the pile!

Loan Advisor with RPM Mortgage

Derek Beisner has over 20 years of experience in the loan business. We have known each other through Orange County LeTip for almost fifteen years and he is the trusted mortgage lender in our group. He specializes in residential home purchases and refinance loans. His creative problem solving and forward thinking sets him apart from the rest. A key part of what he does for our clients and his own is a Custom Mortgage Analysis to determine the best loan option available that will suit their specific financial needs. This helps make sure each client has a loan that is going to work best with their lifestyle and financial situation. His expertise in the loan profession and his passion for serving clients, as well as, his determination to close on time will win you over (it sure did us)! Derek is one of our preferred Vow2Save lenders and he can loan in all states! Vow2Save is a very important program to us, allowing engaged couples to register for a down payment on their first home, so we only refer the best of the best to these couples.

derek

Mortgage Done Right

Derek’s Mission Statement shows just how reliable and easy he is to work with. It also shows you how seriously he takes his profession and the passion that allows him to do it so efficiently.

Mission Statement
My goal is to provide my clients with an unbelievable experience from start to finish with the loan process. By developing a vehicle for them to achieve the goal for their loan or refinance in a friendly and stress free environment.

It is my desire to conduct my business with the highest level of integrity and respect for my clients and co-workers.

And it is important to me to honor God in all that I do.

If you’re looking for help on a new or existing loan and you’re not sure who to contact the AskAngie team highly recommends Derek. Contact him at dbeisner@rpm-mtg.com or 949-637-9939 and if you’re looking for the perfect home to use that loan on contact Angie at 949-338-7408.

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How foreigners can buy property in Spain

Posted on June 8, 2018. Filed under: Buying in Spain, First Time Buyer help, International Properties, Lenders & Loan info | Tags: , , , , , |

Travel much? So many of our client’s do, which is why I recently got my CIPS designation. Having international connections with real estate agents around the world is important so our team can make sure you’re real estate needs get served…literally everywhere! I recently had the pleasure of attending the SIMA convention in Madrid and had a chance to network while learning all about the process of buying and selling in Spain.

Fun fact: Spain is in the top 3 countries where foreigners make purchases. Not surprising, because it’s beautiful. We’ll save that for a different post 😉

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The process of buying a property in Spain

First things first, financing. It does not make sense to begin your search until you know how much you are comfortable spending. Of course, cash is easiest. But this is a post for normal people, not cash cows…

Options for financing foreign property

So… you have a couple options. HELOC is a great one if you have more than 30% equity in your current home. Every time I mention the acronym HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) I feel it necessary to remind you to ONLY do this for appreciating assets. Do not use your HELOC for cars, boats, or babes. Only to buy more property. ONLY.

If HELOC is not an option for you, foreign financing is also currently available in Spain. Here’s a quick video we recorded with Lola from B. S. Bank in Madrid:

Current interest rates may actually be better than your HELOC, so it’s something to consider!

 

Finding your home in Spain

Like most countries, first steps are determining an area for your new home or vacation rental, and then selecting a buyer’s agent. Make sure to consider all the factors when determining your area. Here’s just a few to think about:

  • Proximity to airport
  • Walkable to restaurants
  • Local tourist attractions & festivals
  • Amount the property could rent for, both nightly & monthly
  • Noise levels (planes, trains, bars, church bells)
  • Crime statistics
  • Parking accommodations
  • If you’re vacation renting, does the area embrace that?

 

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Once you’ve got an area in mind, it’s time to get connected with a Realtor who works that region. Just like I mentioned in our post about how to buy property in Costa Rica… a quality agent is crucial in these countries where they don’t offer a Multiple Listing Service or a centralized listing database. We never recommend DIY buying, especially in a foreign land. You need someone who will actually go scout for you and someone who gets along with the other agents in the area so your chances of obtaining your favorite property are higher.

It’s always our pleasure to interview and pair people with quality agents. Please fill out the form below if you would like to find an English-speaking match in your desired area of Spain.

If you’re still nervous about buying overseas, or have any questions about getting started on the process, we would be happy to help. Contact Angie at 949-338-7408!

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Global Forum – International Real Estate

Posted on April 17, 2018. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Informed Investor Alliance, International Properties, Lenders & Loan info, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , |

 

Ways Immigrants Can Buy California Property

Have you been thinking about buying in the US, but live in a foreign country? We can help! There’s lots of talk in real estate about EB 5 Immigration , it’s a program United States offers to encourage foreign investors to purchase property here in the US. Because Trump administration has been putting the brakes on immigration recently, a Green Card is tough to get! This has caused major issues and investors (particularly from China) are getting turned away. 😦 But don’t be discouraged. According to Immigration attorney Qiang Bjornbak, depending on your country of origin and job, there may be options for your visa:

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If you would like to explore which immigration solution is best for you, we would be happy to put you in touch with Qiang for a consultation. She can help pave your path 🙂 Once you are able to legally own a home in the United States, then the next challenge is to obtain financing.

How Foreigners Can Obtain US Loans

Foreign loans don’t come without challenges. Seasoning, or the amount of time your money has been in the bank, can be a big one. Another issue can be a newer social security number. Furthermore, reported income, foreign bank statements, and low appraisals are all landmines that can explode during the loan application process. Red flags everywhere…what’s an investor to do?!

It was great to hear from a panel of lenders who are open to working with foreign buyers, and have experiences to overcome challenges. If you’re buying for the first time in the US, you NEED an experienced lender to make your loan process smooth. Regardless of which lender you select, always run a DU (Direct Underwriting) to make sure your loan is fully approved. Usually about 30% down is required on foreign investments, and you need 2-12 months of reserves. Certain lenders also offer down payment programs. Sometimes these loans can be closed in 30 days, but usually they take about 40-45 days. It’s best to make sure your funds are already in the US to ensure there are no delays.

According to feedback in the room… Sterling Bank & Trust is very easy to work with and has fabulous programs that are easy to qualify. ChinaTrust Bank has an ‘asset based’ program which is great when income isn’t high. Cathay Bank offers a foreign HELOC, which is very rare! Here are all the panelists, just fill out the form below if you would like an introduction!

  • Sterling Bank & Trust – Steven Chang
  • New American Funding – Frank Fuentes
  • HSBC Bank – Buddie Krugh
  • Cathay Bank – Howard Tung
  • ChinaTrust Bank – Kevin Yang

What States Do International Investors Prefer in the US?

Interesting question! Literally, it’s all over! According to 2017 data, here’s the top 5:

  1. Florida
  2. California
  3. Texas
  4. Arizona
  5. New Jersey

If you think sunny Southern California is the best state for you, let’s talk! Just fill out the form below or text call Angie at 949-338-7408. Happy investing – we can’t wait to help you open the door to your US property!

 

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Avoiding Heartbreak During Orange County Spring Home Buying Season

Posted on March 9, 2018. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, Lenders & Loan info, Orange County Real Estate, Spring Buying Season | Tags: , , , , , |

Spring time has begun in Orange County, even though the weather has been chillier than normal! Spring means lots of exciting things like flowers blooming, maybe a little rain to make the grass more green, time spent at the beach, but for us in the real estate business and those of you looking to buy a home it means a busy and sometimes difficult season. We thought we’d share some of our favorite tips with potential buyers before we jump into this time of the year, full force.

Getting everything prepared to buy your home!

We recommend you always have a buyer’s agent to represent you! This makes communication so much easier with the sellers agent. Having a buyer’s agent that you really trust is so important in the home buying process. You need someone who really knows what they’re doing to be your voice when it comes to real estate matters. They will always have your best interest at heart and can properly represent you during the process.

To speed the process up, make sure you have your pre approval, proof of funds, and all of your paperwork in order. This will be most beneficial when there are other buyers interested in the same home as you, you want to make sure you are ready to go and can prove that to the sellers. There could be multiple people writing offers on the property you love and want to be your forever home, so it is important to make sure you have everything ready to be competitive for that home.

Advanced Tips for Homebuying Success

The seller’s agent is more than likely to want you to cross-qualify with the lender they have chosen to trust and use, so make sure you are able to qualify with anyone that runs your information. This will make the process much more smooth and will show the sellers and their agent that you are reliable. Also, make sure your agent has a cover letter for all of your offers. This just makes you look more organized and professional, and goes back to tip number one of having an agent you fully trust to be your voice throughout this nerve-wracking process.

Have an edge and be ready to go all in for the property you want!

Here’s a video of Angie and Loan Specialist Derek Beisner discussing loan contingency to help avoid heartbreak during spring buying season!

Call or text Angie at 949-338-7408 if you’d like to get moving in the right direction on your dream home this season.

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Consider Paying Property Taxes Early – Big Tax Changes are Coming to Town

Posted on December 23, 2017. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Los Angeles property, Making Life Easier, OC Property Management, Orange County Real Estate |

As you’re hearing on the news and seeing on social media…the way we are taxed and the things we can write off will be changing a lot within this next year! As a Realtor I can’t legally give tax advice…. so I’ll preface this post by saying it’s best to consult your CPA before the end of every year and be a proactive advocate for the lowest possible taxes! If you need a CPA referral, just ask 😉

That said, we wanted to make sure our CA friends and clients were aware of this before the end of 2017 – which is fast approaching!

GOP Tax Bill

The LA Times wrote about changes the GOP tax bill will have for California residents. The wealthier areas along the coast are going to suffer more than others due to this. Currently, state and local tax deduction is unlimited. However, in the final GOP plan, people will only be able to deduct up to $10,000. At the beginning the house only wanted the deduction to be on property taxes, but the final bill is for any state and local taxes to be deducted. Property, income, or sales taxes will qualify. An article from The Washington Post says, “The move is widely viewed as a hit to blue states such as New York, Connecticut and California, and there are concerns it could cause property values to fall in high-tax cities and leave less money for public schools and road repairs.” Since the average California homeowner pays 10K or more per year in property taxes, this affects YOU.

Pay Early & Still Get Your Deduction

How can you stay safe from the deduction cap? One way is to pay your second installment of your property taxes (which are usually due in April) before the end of the 2017 year so that you can avoid the amount restriction for 2018 deductions. You can pay online, by e-check, or credit card.

What if My Taxes Are Impounded Into My Mortgage?

If you call and check, most lenders won’t be able to guarantee the payment will get sent before the end of the year, but don’t worry…you’re still ok. You can simply pay your property tax online and then just send the proof of payment over to your lender for an escrow account refund. That way you can still write off your full property tax and state income tax before you get stuck only being able to write off $10k combined next year.

Stay Proactive…Stay Informed

We want you to know that we reply to all Real Estate tax alerts on our client’s behalf. We care about you and want you to get maximum benefits from being a homeowner. Here’s a recent reply from Luis Correa to one of our requests:

lou-correa

Ultimately we all need to watch elections big and small to fight taxes together! Please subscribe to our blog or email us to join the list for regular updates on how to protect your real estate investments.

We hope you have a Happy & prosperous 2018!

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Hot Topic: FHA or Conventional Loan?

Posted on September 22, 2017. Filed under: Conventional Loan, FHA loans, First Time Buyer help, Lenders & Loan info, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , |

Wondering which home loan will be best for you? Here’s some helpful tips

Lots of buyers have been questioning which loan is best for them and their situation. Honestly, it does depend on just that – your situation. We have put together some information on both of these loan options to make it easier for you to decide what you think is best for yourself! Some of the biggest, but most simple differences between FHA and conventional loans are based on their guidelines and who can apply for them. FHA loans are government backed programs that require a minimum 3.5% down payment. These loans tend to be best for borrowers with lower credit than necessary to apply for a conventional loan.

Conventional loans are open-market and are geared for people with a higher credit score, typically near 700 or higher. Rates tend to be a bit lower, and in most cases no Mortgage Insurance is required.

FHA used to be a much more expensive option, but after FHA MIP reductions in 2015 it is now a real competitor. However, FHA can tend to be more strict in requirements than a conventional loan is.

What does an FHA Loan Require?

FHA loans require homes to have the following in good working order:

  • stove
  • heat
  • functioning roof
  • locking doors and windows
  • non-lead based paint

If you are looking to buy a condo… it can only be in a FHA approved community. So if you are choosing FHA, you may have less home options available to you. FHA loans also require you to purchase mortgage insurance which protects the lenders from a loss. In January of 2015, the FHA reduced the annual mortgage insurance premium on a 30 year fixed rate from 1.35 % to 0.85% of the loan balance. This is leading to huge savings for many who want a condo but just don’t have the larger down payment.

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Okay, so which home loan should you choose?

There isn’t one specific answer that fits everybody. It all depends on you, your needs and wants, and what you can afford to choose. If you plan on owning your home for 6-10 years and you don’t mind refinancing to cancel your mortgage insurance you might choose FHA. If you can put 5% down, you plan on keeping your home for 10-20 years and you don’t like the idea of paying mortgage insurance for thirty years you may choose conventional!

If you are looking into buying a home and need help finding one along with deciding which loan option is best for you – we can help! We work with a lot of amazing lender contacts locally here in Orange County that we would love to set you up with. We like to match-make our clients with lenders that we think will benefit them the most. Depending on your personality, wants/needs, and what kind of loan you are interested in all helps us decide which lender will be best for you! Fill out the form below or contact Angie at 949-338-7408 for more information 🙂

 

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INVITATION: Citrus College Home Fair

Posted on April 10, 2017. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate, Orange County things to do | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Interested in buying a home in Southern California but don’t know how? Would you like safe and solid info on Real Estate Investing or Market reports and trends? We’ve got you covered with free sessions at Citrus College on April 23rd.

The event will be held from 11am – 3pm with an hour lunch break. There are 3 different sessions, each with 4 classes to choose from ranging from flipping to first time buying. We feel honored to be asked to teach 2 classes – Investing and Market Report. Come join us and learn how to buy real estate! The first 100 registrations receive a free lunch on Citrus Real Estate Club – just sign up below.

CitrusFlyer

Yes, sign me up for Citrus College’s Home Fair on April 23rd!

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How to Buy an Orange County Home with 1% Down

Posted on March 23, 2017. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Lenders & Loan info, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , , |

We believe everyone, EVERYONE, deserves to own a home!! So what’s your biggest obstacle to get there?

Down payment funds?! Probably!

We don’t live in a society that saves money, so how can you buy a home if you’re savings account isn’t 5 figures or more? There’s a way, and we wanted to let you know you have options!

Orange County Down Payment Assistance Programs

A great resource to reach out to for housing grants and financial help is NeighborWorks Orange County. The NeighborWorks website lists lots of really great programs – here’s a flyer to check out just a few:

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For your convenience, income limits for each program are color coded at the bottom of this sheet. NeighborWorks is located in Orange, and they’re always coming up with a new program or a way to help you improve credit, budget, and your overall financial picture. Here’s a link to their homebuyer classes, given in various languages 🙂

In order to learn about everything this great nonprofit has, it’s best to attend a workshop. They also have an online or in house course you can take to get fully equipped to buy a home. It does cost a nominal fee, but you get your money back when you provide your closing statement within 12 months. How cool is that?!??

If you’re the type of person who wants to work with a charity FIRST, or if you just don’t have a down payment and you need help, reach out by texting 949-338-7408 or filling out the form below, and we’ll put you in touch with NeighborWorks so you can get on the affordable path to homeownership!

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Become an Automatic Millionaire Homeowner

Posted on November 29, 2016. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Making Life Easier, Orange County CA Foreclosures, Orange County Real Estate, Orange County Short Sales | Tags: , , , , , , |

Ever wonder how people really come up in real estate? It doesn’t require a huge amount of capital, brains, or hard work. The process is surprisingly simple, and we’ll teach you the jist in just half an hour.

re-investing

The best thing about becoming a millionaire homeowner is that anyone can do it.

Learn How at Homeownership Day Jan 14th, 2017

We’ll teach you the simple process based off David Bach’s “Automatic Millionaire Homeowner” book in an easy, 1/2 hour session at Chapman University from 12:15 – 12:45pm.

This is a class for normal people who would like to do extraordinary things in real estate while maintaining their existing lifestyle, career, and family.

The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner is not a get-rich-quick scheme; everything is done on your individual timeline, and without a membership in some expensive group or school. The only money you spend will be on real estate itself. Simple concepts that once applied, will bring you huge returns regardless of where you own property. And the younger you have this knowledge and you start…the better.

Register below for this free event – space is limited!

ochfgraphicMore about Homeownership Day / OC Home Fair

This yearly event is a collaborative between Chapman University, Orange County Young Professionals Network, OC Register, and non-profits VAREP and NeighborWorks OC designed to bring you honest real estate information with no pressure or gimmicks.

There will be 4 different sessions, each with 5 classes to choose from. Attendees enjoy a ‘choose your own adventure’ style and pick the classes that interest them most. Instructors are all active experts in the industry volunteering their time to benefit our community. Visit www.OCHomeFair.com for the full class list and session times.

Where: Chapman University’s Beckman Hall 1 University Dr, Orange, CA 92866
When: January 14th, 2017 from 10am – 1pm
Cost: free

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Orange County All Inclusive Trust Deeds (AITDs)

Posted on November 8, 2016. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Lenders & Loan info, Orange County Short Sales | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

loan-denialWhat is an AITD? An All Inclusive Trust Deed is basically when the buyer takes over the seller’s existing loan. And NO, it doesn’t have to be an ‘assumable loan’ … The current lender is actually not even notified!

Who Are Good Candidates for AITDs?

As a buyer, you could use AITD as an avenue if you cannot qualify for a traditional loan. If you’re a seller, it’s an option if you don’t want to short sale, or if you have a fabulous loan that you would like to transfer to a family member. Another time an AITD could save the day is if you are a seller and your HOA is in litigation, or there is some type of situation causing purchase loans in your community to get denied.

How do AITD Transactions Work?

With an AITD, most aspects are the same as a normal Orange County real estate transaction. Instead of a traditional lender involved, the escrow company draws up the paperwork and usually collects the payments as ‘the manager’, which they then send over to the existing lender on buyer & seller’s behalf.

AITD allows you to make your own qualification rules, which is pretty neat! You don’t necessarily have to worry about credit history, scores, or capital gains taxes (if it’s not your primary residence) should you go this route.

If you’re thinking of doing an AITD, make sure to record the grant deed as well. It’s better for everyone. Especially if you are the buyer, because then you can technically write off the mortgage interest.

A great company to use for this process locally in OC is Mission Country Escrow. Katie the owner spoke to us about it today, and they have been doing AITD’s in Orange County for 30 years. If you’re thinking of doing one, definitely reach out to them.

Questions To Ask When Doing an AITD

  1. Loan amount: is it a ‘mirror image’ of the seller’s current loan, or if not, what interest rate will be charged?
  2. Down payment: is the buyer putting funds down, and if so, how much?
  3. Length: what is the length of the AITD and are there any extension options?
  4. HOA: does the property have a Homeowner’s Association?
  5. Commissions & closing costs: is the typical ‘each to pay own’ presiding, or who is paying?
  6. Loans: how many does the seller currently have, and are they all current?

All Inclusive Trust Deed Risks

Of course, there are plenty of risks too. Technically, the lender could call the loan due & payable because the owner transferred. However, the chances of that happening (unless there’s a late payment) are very slim.

Furthermore, we had Steve Fink, real estate attorney discuss advantages & disadvantages of AITD. Honestly, there are a ton of risks involved, and these AITD transactions should be done only in very special cases and with extreme caution. Always use a professional, and get your facts!

If you’d like a personal introduction or have questions about AITD’s, just call Angie at 949-338-7408, tweet @AngieWeeks, or fill out the form below – we’ll be sure to connect you with trusted professionals to protect your interest!

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TRID – What Consumers Need to Know

Posted on November 9, 2015. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , |

clock-runningTRID is the TILA / RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule which is designed to help consumers understand the mortgage and real estate buying process more thoroughly.

How to most industry people see it? TRID is dirt spelled backwards 🙂 It’s a pretty big change and it’s causing delays. We’re annoyed.

45 is the new 30. That’s what everyone’s saying about an escrow timeline. In order to close in 30 days, everything has to flow perfectly. Now be honest, how often does that happen???

In this perfect world…Escrow needs to get the fee sheet over the day the lender requests it.

Furthermore, disclosures need to go out immediately, and the appraisal needs to be ordered pronto. Before loan docs, well pretty much before anything, a CD (Closing Disclosure) needs to get out to the borrower. The best lenders right now are providing this digitally, and those who aren’t (*ahem* B of A, Chase, Wells) have a closing timeframe of 60+ days, which is completely unacceptable.  Every time something big changes, a new Closing Disclosure must go out and there is a 3 day mandatory waiting period. There’s no more room for sloppy documents and slow turnaround for paperwork. Having a good real estate team (title, escrow, lender, and Realtor) who all communicate is crucial more than ever with these TRID guidelines.

Delays can be caused by any one or more of these simple elements within the escrow process:

  • HOA dues
  • HOA transfer fees
  • HOA move in/out fee
  • Sewer lateral
  • Roof inspection
  • Pest inspection
  • Security deposit transfers
  • Insurance Certification costs
  • Prorated rents
  • Seller rent backs
  • Mobile signing fees
  • POA preparation fees
  • Subordination prep fees
  • Draw deed fees
  • Buyer paid Realtor commission
  • Repair credits
  • Carbon monoxide detectors missing

Inspections should be done as soon as possible to avoid any of the above issues. Changing lenders in the middle of the deal now undoes the entire timeline and forces everyone to start over.  You need to interview your lenders and have your team in place BEFORE escrow starts. Call us if you need referrals for competent lenders here in Orange County.

If you’re already in escrow with another team, make sure your agent orders Home Warrantee, all disclosures and inspections right away, and is in good touch with the lender. These are all standard practice already with the AskAngie team.

As a seller, you can help too. Right when you open escrow, call the management company right away with the credit card info and order your HOA documents. They are famously one of the slowest moving parts of an escrow so it should be addressed on day 1.

If you have any comments or questions about working with the new normal and TRID, don’t hesitate to call 949-338-7408, comment below, or tweet @AngieWeeks !

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Reverse Mortgages in Orange County – Love it or Leave it?

Posted on October 27, 2015. Filed under: Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info | Tags: , , , , , , |

Reverse Mortgage Answers orange countyWe’ve all heard good and bad about the reverse mortgage market, so today I went to a class given by Dirk Pierce with Retirement Funding Solutions at the OC Register building to find out more information. Knowledge is power, right?! Plus it’s not fair to form an opinion about something until the proper research and due diligence is done.

What is a Reverse Mortgage?

Basically, a reverse mortgage lets homeowners convert a portion of the equity in their homes into cash, and eliminate their monthly mortgage payments.

Interestingly enough, Reverse Mortgages are over 100 years old, and they are also available in Britain, Chile, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Korea. They were designed to help people who where house rich and cash poor, and were also known as ‘shared equity’. Fast forward to 1989, and Ronald Reagan helped to create the first government regulated Reverse Mortgage plans under the FHA umbrella.

Another variation of a reverse mortgage is HECM for Purchase; both share similiar features:

  • Both are FHA
  • Neither have monthly payment requirements
  • Both offer adjustable or fixed rates

You’ll use HECM for purchase when you are planning to buy a new property, for example to downsize, etc.  Reverse Mortgage is when you stay in your existing home, and simply refinance.

HECM for purchase is an FHA loan that enables a person age 62+ to purchase a home with as little as 40% to 51% down and never make monthly mortgage payments.  So basically you can get a 500K home for 250K and never make payments if you meet the age requirements. BUT….interest still accrues on your mortgage balance. The nice thing about the programs is they come with the following protections:

  • Guarantee that FHA will honor the terms of the loan if the lender becomes insolvent
  • Guarantee that you would never owe more than the house was worth
  • Guarantee that there is no personal liability for repayment of the loan by you or your heirs. It is truly a non-recourse loan.
  • Guarantees that the loan won’t become due until the last remaining borrower leaves the home.

Frequently there is remaining equity in the home…what happens with that? After the home is sold, any remaining equity goes to the heirs.

Do you qualify for a reverse mortgage?

  • minimal credit requirements
  • minimal debt to income ratios

What types of properties are allowed?

  • single family
  • PUD
  • 1-4 unit property
  • FHA approved condo
  • new construction
  • NOT second homes or investment properties, sorry!

More reverse mortgage facts:

  • Only YOUR name is on the title, so don’t believe the rumors that the bank is on title.
  • The loan becomes due when the last remaining borrower leaves the home.
  • You can sell whenever you want to, and they do not have a prepayment penalty.
  • Family has up to a year to either refinance your property with a normal mortgage or sell it before the loan is officially due.

Reverse Mortgages are all age based, so contact Dirk today if you’d like a chart to see what your down payment would be at your age.  Want to learn more? Register for his class at http://www.OCHomeFair.com on Jan 30th, 2016.

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Orange County Real Estate Appraisals – “Ask The Appraiser”!

Posted on September 25, 2014. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Improvement Ideas, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, OC Property Profiles, Orange County Home Improvement, Orange County Real Estate |

Orange County CA Real Estate appraisals

Frustrated with OC real estate appraisals? Contact the professionals at the AskAngie team to learn tips and tricks to find a more accurate appraisal estimate!

Appraisers…..we love to hate them.  They scrutinize your house, call your ‘baby’ ugly, and they tell you it isn’t worth as much as you would like.  But they are a critical part of every real estate transaction when you’re getting a loan, so we have to learn to speak appraisal language.  What does an appraiser do, anyway?  In a nutshell, appraisers determine an unbiased price your property is worth at any particular moment in time.  They do this by pulling ‘comps‘ or comparable properties near you, and then factoring in upgrades and features to nail down a property price.  The bank hires an appraiser to confirm the loan they are about to give you is on a safe, solid, properly priced property. This week we had the pleasure of hearing long time Laguna Beach appraiser Mary “Vicky” Wilson tell us how we can get closer to the right numbers.  As an agent in the business 11 years, some of this info was totally new to me!  I’m sure you’ll learn a few things too – so read on 🙂

First off, appraisers take a completely factual and non-emotional approach.  So to get on the same page with them…you’ve gotta use your head, not your heart. Every price adjustment and comparable property needs to be validated with a series of facts behind it, not just thoughts or feelings.

Basic guidelines Orange County Real Estate appraisers follow:

  • **Appraisers do NOT NOT NOT use a price per square foot average.**  Don’t even try to value your property like this.  You may be able to justify it to the buyers agent, buyer, and yourself, but the appraiser isn’t buying it, and they give the bank the green light needed to lend the money needed & close this deal.  Now, lots and land are an exception to this rule, but the main dwelling is NOT.
  • Comps must be reasonable substitutes. ie single level properties vs 2 story properties are NOT comparable.  Read that again because it takes a minute to sink in.  SERIOUSLY??  The 2 story that is 3 doors down is not a comp if you’re a single story???  Notsomuch in the eyes of the appraiser. Be careful not to price a less desirable model in a neighborhood the same as the most desirable if they differ in stories.
  • To follow along these lines, lenders don’t want an appraiser to compare properties that are 15% plus or minus in size.  If you are the smallest model, you may not be a comp with the largest, and vice versa.
  • Lenders require 4 closed sales AND 2 backup or pending sales that support the value opinion & your price tag.  Pay attention to active, pending, & backup listings because the appraiser is!  They are looking for upward or downward trends in your local market.  One high closing in your area won’t help you, remember FOUR closed properties are needed, plus 2 more that are under contract.
  • Did you know there are only 17-20 line items on an appraisal?  Appraisers stick to the cold, hard facts.
  • L O C A T I O N is the #1 consideration.  Location also trumps distance from property.  So if you are the only ‘ocean view’ in your community, an appraiser may go to a neighboring community to pull other ocean view comps instead of other non-view properties in your same neighborhood.  Same would go for a ‘corner lot’ or ‘end unit’ location.
  • Time is of the essence.  Appraisers like 3-6 month old closed comps, not more than 1 mile away.  Pull up this data before you price your property so you are in line with the realities of today’s market.
  • No, your converted detached garage, pool house, or Mother In-Law suite is not part of the square footage of your property.  Ever.  Rule of thumb: If you have to walk outside the main structure and have air or water or wind touch you then it’s not part of the square footage 😦  Furthermore, to be considered square footage, permitted improvements must be above soil grade & under the main roof.  Sorry, but your cool casitas or underground grow and wine rooms can be appraisal line item adjustments, but NOT included in the square footage.
  • .75 bath (toilet, sink, shower) is counted as a full bath in appraisals!!!!  .5 baths with no tub or shower, on the other hand, are only noted as .1….so if your property is 5 full and 3 1/2 baths… it’s a 5.3 on the appraisal; not 6.5.
  • Appraisers only have 48 hours to send their appraisals in, and they get paid less than $500 per report.  Banks have high expectations and short timelines, so this is where a good agent comes in to assist your appraiser in understanding your home’s true value, quickstyle.  More agent tips coming if you keep on reading….
  • The market will *usually* pay back 50-60% of what you spent on upgrades!!!  Sellers who try to add the entire price of remodels or upgrades into a purchase price always end up disappointed.  Remember this ratio and come to terms with it now.
  • If you do have an unpermitted addition, appraisers will ask:  Does it have intrinsic value to the property? Is the addition positive or negative to the overall home?  How is the condition?  Remember, non-permitted additions won’t count toward square footage, ever, but it can be added as a line item to the overall valuation.

Tips for Realtors and homeowners to better work with appraisers:

  1. Be present at the appraisal appointment with a comp packet. Or email it early.  The appraiser is in the field NOW, not in 3 hours when you get back to the office and your email.  Don’t expect appraisers to drive back to see your comps.  Make sure to support upward and downward trends with comps and a possible market report, too.
  2. Inform – appraisers need to know what was upgraded and how much was spent. Readily offer full access to everything.
  3. Don’t approach an appraiser negatively or with an attitude if you don’t agree with their valuation. 
  4. Don’t say: “You should have no problems with the value”.  Famous last words.
  5. During follow up: don’t ask the value, they can NOT tell you the number directly.  Instead ask: “Did you find any problems with the home that may be an issue?”

Wanna Ask the Appraiser more specifics?

Mary Vicky Wilson is happy to do ‘range valuations’ for Orange County homeowners who are considering selling.  May as well do it now.
949-939-6806
Vicky@yourappraisalpeople.com

Want an Orange County Market Report and professionally pulled comps?

Contact the AskAngie team and we’re happy to help!  You can reach Angie direct at 949-338-7408.  Or just email Angie@AskAngie.com or tweet @AskAngieTeam so we can help you get the research you need to sell your biggest asset for top dollar!

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Orange County Real Estate & Loans – Make it EASY!

Posted on July 24, 2014. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Lenders & Loan info, Orange County Real Estate |

Today I’m in a lunch & learn with Ryan Grant and the iMortgage team, and we’re talking about ways to make homebuyer’s lives easier!  There’s a lot of little (and big) steps in the process of buying a home, and if they aren’t taken in the right order it can lead to major headaches. Today’s post will focus on the loan aspect – crucial info here!!!

  • Have you ever walked into an open house before, loved it, and then lost it because you weren’t prequalified?
  • Have you ever given a lender your financial info verbally, they told you you’re approved for 500K, and then later found out that number was really 400K?
  • Have you ever been told by a Realtor that they won’t show you homes because you aren’t approved?

Not-so-fun FACT:  36% of all real estate transactions are delayed or do not close due to lack of funding!

These things happen all the time, and the headache can be avoided by taking the right steps on the path.  Let’s just pave it for you here:

  1. You MUST be pre-approved before you go out shopping.  Buyers who think ‘Oh, I’ll just do that once I find the house I like’ are setting themselves up for heartbreak.  The house you liked today, another buyer liked yesterday.   You are TOO LATE if you wait to prequalify once you find the house you like.  The market, nor the seller, nor the listing agent will not wait for you to bring your paperwork together.  If a Realtor insists that you provide them with a prequalification and proof of down payment funds before you start searching, that’s a GOOD agent who wants you to have a pleasant experience.  They know how to best serve you and make sure no time is wasted.  Only newbies let you go shopping without your *wallet*.
  2. Verbal prequalifications are not enough.  A pre-approval is stronger than a prequalifcation….and listing agents know this.  If you submit a prequal while the other buyers submit a pre-approval – you lose.  If you just prequal and do not give the lender your paperwork and financial information, then you may be able to secure the escrow, but it’s possible you won’t be able to close it.  This happens ALL THE TIME in our industry, so don’t think it can’t happen to you, too.
  3. Know your loan parameters.  Buying for the first time?  Great!  It’s very likely you’ll be doing an FHA loan with 3.5% down.  Buuuut, not all communities are ‘approved’ for FHA financing.  Here in Orange County, only around 50% of condo communities are open to FHA financing, so your options will be limited.  The same applies for VA loans – not all communities are approved.  If you aren’t aware of your loan limitations, you can also run into major disappointments and discouragement.
  4. Structure your offer accordingly.  Tight on cash?  Tell your Realtor, and we can write in your closing costs to be paid by the seller side.  Competing with multiple offers?  Write an aggressive timeline to be more competitive.  Does the seller need to find another home?  Offer them a rentback and be flexible on your timeline.   The way your offer is structured is very important to
  5. cash-buyerShow buying power & strength.  Part of this is your pre-approval.  Have your lender push it through underwriting so the process is almost done.  If you take the extra week or two to do this, you will appear almost as a CASH offer.  The other part is your proof of funds.  If you have more $$ saved than you are putting down, go ahead and show it to the seller.  The more funds you have, the more likely they are to feel comfortable with you!
  6. Be prepared to cross-qualify.  What the heck is that?  It’s basically the process of one lender confirming another lender’s paperwork.  When you buy a home you’re in a financial fish bowl.  If you resist the seller’s request to have you ‘double’ or ‘cross’ qualify, what does that say about your confidence in being able to close the deal???  You appear stubborn, or you appear to be hiding something.  Would you want to work with someone like that?  Don’t be that guy.

If you follow the above 6 steps and work with a competent lender & Realtor, you will have the best possible experience with all financing aspects of buying your new home.  If you don’t, get ready to ride the roller coaster because you’re in for some ups, downs, and possibly flips.

More questions?  Just AskAngie!  Call 877-230-3211, tweet @AngieWeeks or comment here!

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What’s in store for Orange County Real Estate in 2014?

Posted on January 14, 2014. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Orange County CA Foreclosures, Orange County Real Estate, Orange County Short Sales | Tags: , , , , , , |

Orange County 2014 Real Estate Economic Forecast

What’s in store for 2-0-1-4?

Today we had the pleasure of attending a lunch & learn by The Real Estate Focus Group and Steven Thomas, one of Orange County’s best real estate forecasters.  Steven’s reports have been published in Forbes, USA today, NY Times, and especially the OC Register because he’s constantly pulling tons of valuable data about what’s going on with the OC housing market.

2013 Real Estate Review

In 2013, short sale volume dropped by 61%, (holla:) we experienced a hot hot hot market with 18% appreciation and then the unrealistic sellers entered the market after June.  We saw many more move up sellers, which is a great sign.  There was a significant lack of inventory at the beginning of the year, followed by a spike and overpriced inventory in the fall.  We also had a refinance bonanza, so hopefully you took advantage of that!  Interest rates are still historically low, but tapering is looming, so 2014 is a year to get your financing while financing is still good.

2014 Real Estate Ramp Up

We currently have 5000 homes on the Orange County market, and we have a 49% increase in inventory since this time last year.  Our market is healthy because interest rates are still low (but expected to go up), and we are currently at 90% equity (standard) sales.

Only 5% of the mortgaged homes in Orange County are currently underwater.  That means 95% of you are back to even or have (gasp!) equity – FABULOUS NEWS – and this makes the perfect formula for a continued move up market.  If you’d like to get the house with the yard or the pool, this year is opportunity time for you.

First time buyers who have been squeezed out of the market the last 12 months will come back, even though their rates are a little higher and FHA guidelines have changed.  In addition, more luxury buyers are expected to enter the market this year.

Sellers, our expected time for a properly priced home on the market in Orange County is 93 days.  Our median sales price is 610K, and buyers, your monthly payment for a 4.5% loan at this price is approximately $2500.  Still affordable.  Unless you like paying off your landlord’s mortgage instead.

New home construction is going up: Rancho Mission Viejo, Great Park Irvine, and Baker’s Ranch in Foothill Ranch are all big developments underway.  Remember it’s still a good idea to have a Realtor represent you even in a new build situation, so be sure to call us if you would like to check out any of the inventory out there.

Some concerns for 2014….. uncertainty, lack of fair market value homes, interest rates, and the circus in Washington DC.

Some expectations for 2014…… buyers will insist on fair market value vs. paying over appraisal, active inventory will continue to rise, interest rates will continue to rise, and we should have a mild appreciation of 0-5%.

If you are interested in MORE geeky data, we have it at our fingertips!  Just email angie@askangie.com, tweet @angieweeks or @weeksteam, or call 877-230-3211 to request a copy of this month’s Orange County housing report.

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