Real Estate Education

Homebuying Myth

Buying a home can seem like a huge undertaking. You don’t need to be a first time home buyer to find the process overwhelming. There is so much information available, how can you tell what’s true and what’s a myth? Understanding the difference can help you make the best decision for you and your family goals. Top Home Buying Myths – And the Truth  The First Step is finding the Right House – Before you head out shopping, speak with a lender to understand your financial options and how much house you can afford.  You Can’t Buy a Home Without Perfect Credit – The truth is there are many loans available which still offer good interest rates for those without that perfect score.

 You Need 20% Down Payment – First time home buyers can use FHA financing for as low as 3.5% down. There are other programs too, such as VA and some conventional loans with less than 20% down also.

 You Don’t Need an Agent – An agent not only knows the market and can help you with value, but also customary charges, negotiations and solutions to common hiccups.

 Schools Don’t Matter if you don’t have Kids – The neighborhood is always important to home values, regardless of whether you yourself have children.

 New Homes Don’t Need a Home Inspection – Every home should have a home inspection by a licensed inspector to check for existing or potential problems. Buying a home is one of the most important financial decisions you’re likely to make in your lifetime. Take the time you need to understand the process and learn from the professionals; don’t assume that everything you read is true.

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Types of Real Estate Sales - Coffee Time with the Realty Goddess

https://youtu.be/swxL643JKYw  

When you are purchasing a home you will come across many different "types" of sales. Short-Sales, Stand, HUD, Trust, REO...it can be confusing. This broadcast will look into the terms and untangle the mystery.

If you are in the Los Angeles area, I would love the opportunity to earn your business.

Laura Key, REALTOR Cal BRE 01908085 Laura.A.Key@gmail.com www.KeyCaliforniaHomes.com

Follow me on: Periscope & Twitter: @RealtyGoddess Snapchat: @RealtyGoddess Instagram: @realtygoddess1 Facebook: www.Facebook.com/RealtyGoddess

What Buyers Want and Are Willing to Pay For It!

What Buyers Want and Are Willing to Pay For It!

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FHA Limits for Los Angeles Area

Homeownership is not out of reach. FHA limits in California are one of the highest in the country.  I have great lenders that can help you reach your real estate goals! Call me to get started on your homeownership goals!!!  Laura Key 310.866.8422

Here are the current limits for Los Angeles (as of August 23, 2013) FHA allows 3.5% downpayment over a 15 to 30 year term!

Single Family             $729,750

Duplex                        $934,200

Tri-Plex                      $1,129,250

Four-Plex                   $1,403,400

Source: FHA.com

Budget for Closing Costs – Home Inspection and Title Fees

Buying a home means you also have to budget for additional expenses! Make sure you put some money aside for the extras.

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Purchasing a home is a euphoric event. Once escrow begins, the euphoria can change to frustration, particularly if you are not ready for the closing costs that quickly accumulate.

Closing costs simply refer to the fees associated with various things associated with the escrow process in a real estate transaction. In the excitement of having an offer accepted for your dream home, you can easily lose track of the fact you are going to need to have some serious cash on hand to pay them. Many people make the mistake of only assuming they need the down payment money, and have to rush around town trying to come up with money for the closing fees.

If you are buying a home, you need to get a professional home inspection. Doing so can reveal potential problems with the home that you wouldn’t otherwise notice. Problems can include things such as rot, termites, water leaks and a bevy of other issues. The time to do this is during escrow. Of course, that means you are also going to have to pay for the inspection. Depending on the size of the property, home inspections can run a few hundred dollars up to a few thousand. Make sure you have money set aside for the fees.

Title insurance is something you absolutely must purchase when you buy any real property, a home, building, land or whatever. Title insurance protects both you and your lender. Title insurance is just what it sounds like. A title company will research the title of the home and essentially guarantee that the title is good. This means the seller actually owns the title and has the right to sell it to you. The title company will also make sure there aren’t any liens on the homes or other things that will cause you problems. Depending on the price of the home, title insurance can run you a couple of hundred dollars or up into the thousands. Again, it is important to find out the cost and budget for it.

Title insurance and a home inspection are two things you should absolutely have when purchasing a home. Just make sure you budget for them.

Laura Key, BRE 01908085
310.866.8422
Laura.A.Key@gmail.com
www.KeyCaliforniaHomes.com

A Bit About Mold

There are a number of little things to look out for when purchasing a new home. Normally the things to consider includes such things as location, wiring, the condition of the house itself, and several other factors. One of these factors that the home buying public is becoming more concerned with is mold.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA There are a number of little things to look out for when purchasing a new home. Normally the things to consider includes such things as location, wiring, the condition of the house itself, and several other factors. One of these factors that the home buying public is becoming more concerned with is mold. There are many different types of mold that can occur in a home and lead not only to structural damage, but some health concerns as well. Mold is difficult to find in many homes as it grows exclusively in dark and moist areas that are usually hidden somewhere in the structural areas of the home such as attics and basements. By the time mold shows up in the actual living areas, chances are that it is all through the home.

One of the most likely places for mold to form is anywhere that moisture is improperly vented. Another area of concern is if a home has ever flooded and was not completely or properly cleaned and dried after. Leaky plumbing and basement crawlspaces are other likely candidates. Mold can be a difficult thing to completely get rid of as the only thing it needs to continue growth is an organic material such as wood, and moisture. Both of these items are usually abundant in any home. The most likely was that moisture finds its way into the home is through faulty or leaky roofs and foundations. Both of these areas should be checked over by an experienced mold inspector on a fairly regular basis if there is any worry of mold beginning to grow, or if these has been mold in the past. Mold can be an expensive problem to deal with so be pro-active about looking for it, it can save you money in the long run.

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Bank Faces Lawsuit Over Excessive Fees

Are you facing or someone you know facing foreclosure? There are sources out there to help you! Call me for a list of free resources!  Laura Key 310.866.8422

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JPMorgan Chase faces a lawsuit that alleges the bank imposed overly high or unnecessary fees on delinquent borrowers. The banking giant tried to get the case dismissed, arguing to the courts that the claims were unjust, but a federal judge ruled the lawsuit should proceed. 

Borrowers are accusing the bank of “imposing excessive or unnecessary fees to inflate profit, including on services performed by third party vendors, cheating thousands of already-strained borrowers out of millions of dollars,” Reuters reports. 

Among the fees in question range from $95 to $125 for “broker’s price opinions.” The plaintiffs, who reside in Tennessee, California, and Oregon, claim that the BPOs cost $30 to produce and that according to Fannie Mae guidelines they should not cost more than $80.  

Similar lawsuits over mortgage fees charged to delinquent borrowers are pending against Wells Fargo and Citigroup. 

Source: “JPMorgan must face lawsuit challenging mortgage fees,” Reuters (June 14, 2013)

Where Asking Prices Are Rising the Most

California is rising fast, yet it's not at the highest it's ever been. Interested in buying or selling!  Let me assist you in reaching your real estate goals! Laura Key 310.866.8422

House in Hand

Median list prices in May edged up 2.10 percent month-over-month, as housing inventories also were on the rise, creating a greater balance between supply and demand, according to realtor.com’s latest Real Estate Health Report. 

The nationwide median list price was $199,000 for May, and up 4.79 percent year-over-year. 

"We are seeing large regional markets across the country leading the way to national recovery. These regions are acting as a microcosm for what's slowly happening in the larger real estate market," says Steve Berkowitz, chief executive officer of Move. "Overall, we're seeing seller confidence beginning to respond to consumer demand. Nationally, there are more homes going on the market for a shorter amount of time.  And this is happening in our hot markets on a much larger scale."

California housing markets are seeing some of the highest median price gains. The following 10 markets have seen the highest year-over-year list price gains: 

1. Sacramento, Calif.: up 42.45%

  • Median list price: $284,900

2. Oakland, Calif.: up 38.27%

  • Median list price: $495,000

3. Detroit, Mich.: up 31.73%

  • Median list price: $125,000

4. San Jose, Calif.: up 30.58%

  • Median list price: $679,000

5. Los Angeles-Long Beach, Calif.: up 27.80%

  • Median list price: $428,000

6. Fresno, Calif.: up 27.48%

  • Median list price: $219,900

7. Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz.: up 27.03%

  • Median list price: $235,000

8. Stockton-Lodi, Calif.: up 25.63%

  • Median list price: $199,750

9. Reno, Nev.: up 24.23%

  • Median list price: $235,900

10. Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Calif.: up 24%

  • Median list price: $775,000

Source: realtor.com®

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Laura Key

Realty Goddess

Laura Key on CBS News

Do you work from home? Buy your next home with your office in mind!

 

If you work from home, and it is time to move to your next home, there are some factors you should consider carefully before making your decision.

working-from-home

The flexibility afforded by a “zero-commute” combined with the skyrocketing price of gasoline has strengthened the case for full time teleworking and telecommuting. According to an Environmental Protection Agency (2004) study:

“Americans spend an average of 46 hours per year stuck in traffic. Gridlock produces more than $63 billion in congestion costs per year”

The artist community has been well acquainted with the use of work/living spaces for years, but improvements in technology have made the benefits of teleworking and occasional telecommuting more attractive to general consumers. According to the key findings form the International Telework Association & Council (ITAC) Telework America (2000) study:

“Home-based teleworkers also have larger homes, on average, than non-teleworkers; the difference amounting to about 500 square feet. The most popular place for an office in these larger homes is a spare bedroom, with the living room a distant second. The primary home telework activity is computer work (55% of total activities), followed by telephoning, reading, and—averaging 7% of the time—face to face meetings.”

As you purchase your next home, there are certain factors to consider if you need to set up a new home office:

Make sure that your high-tech needs can be met. Have a qualified electrician inspect the wiring of the house to see if the system can handle the extra power load that your home office requires. Older homes may need significant upgrades to handle the extra power, while newer homes are built with more energy-efficient systems to handle the additional power along with heating/air conditioning requirements. If you use cable, DSL or satellite internet access, check with your local service provider to see if access is available in your new neighborhood. Shop around for your telephone provider—in some cases, business service bundles may be more cost effective than regular residential service.

Designate where your office space will be. Determine the amount of space you will need to accommodate your work style and space. In many cases a spare bedroom or living room space can be used, if a formal den option is not available. If your work requires heavy telephone usage or just heads-down concentration, you may want to consider utilizing a room with a door. Doors can be closed to reduce interruptions from other family and household noises.

Plan your office blueprint to include all required furniture, bookcases, computers, fax, and printers. Make sure to allow for filing and storage space for files and extra office supplies. Lighting is critical for computer or assembly work, so make sure to allow for direct sunlight along with any specific task lighting that may be necessary. Select flooring options that will allow you to work comfortably—you may wish to go with hardwood or laminate flooring to allow for your chair to move smoothly across the floor. Install enough phone lines to cover your home, business and fax machines needs.

Is the office easily accessible? If you will expect regular package deliveries, make sure that your designated office is easily accessible to the front door of the home. This is also necessary if you will need to meet clients or visitors in your office and would like to ensure a professional appearance for your business.

Find out about local business requirements. Some cities have zoning restrictions and guidelines for work/living spaces along with tax implications. Make sure to check with your local government to determine if special restrictions exist.

Are you ready to find a home that could allow you to work from home? Or...do you need more room in the current home you own? Give me a call - lets get you started!

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