Business and Economy

Los Angeles FHA Loan Limits

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 home ownership goals!!!  Laura Key 310.866.8422

Here are the current limits for Los Angeles (as of Nov 13, 2014) FHA allows 3.5% downpayment over a 15 to 30 year term!

Single Family             $625,500

Duplex                        $800,775

Tri-Plex                      $967,950

Four-Plex                   $1,202,925

Start your home search today!

www.KeyCaliforniaHomes.com

**Source: https://entp.hud.gov

Auto Insurance Shopping

I bet you are wondering why a real estate agent would post about auto insurance, but the fact is, most people bundle home and auto. So here are some interesting tips about auto insurance for your reading pleasure.... Auto Insurance. Shopping for it is not enjoyable. Trying to figure out which policy is best for you is confusing. Typically we just like to choose the cheapest, however, depending on where you live geographically that may not be the choice as those of us located near or adjacent to our Southern Border must take into account the high percentage of uninsured drivers. Not only does this typically raise our annual premium, but usually it will require us to buy additional coverage. There are ultimately 7 primary factors that have the most significant impact on your insurance premium.

  • Aesthetics
  • Fuel Efficiency
  • Usability
  • Comfort
  • Drivability
  • Engine Horsepower
  • Crash Test Ratings

Now it will not take a rocket scientist to figure out that driving a high performance sports car will yield significantly higher rates than say a small sedan. This infographic lists among the 10 most popular vehicles to drive as well as the upper and lower limits for what people pay for insurance. Thus, if you drive one of the vehicles described in the above infographic and are paying significantly more, perhaps you have a strong case to change carriers, or perhaps you are buying too much coverage. Regardless it’s always a good idea to do a bit of research to see what else is out there. Luckily with the digital age there are numerous ways to save time by comparing numerous carriers’ quotes at one time. One such company compare.com does this for Auto Insurance. So even if your car is not one of the 10 vehicles, it’s still worth a shot to give compare.com a visit and Compare Auto Insurance now to see if you could be saving money on your policy!

auto insurance

Written by Matt Lawler www.MattJLawler.com

Home Design Inspiration For Your Bathroom

A few candles, a dimming light, a glass of bubbly, some music and some bubbles....YEAP!

Bathroom-Home-Design-12

Start your home search out RIGHT! Access homes from a direct source! Text LKHOMES to 87778 today or go to http://87778.mobi/LKHOMES Available on iPad/Tablet/Smartphones

Source: http://homedesignboard.com/bathroom/home-design-inspiration-for-your-bathroom-12/

As Home Prices Rebound, Lenders Rush to Unload REOs

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | THURSDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2013

Welcome

The recovery in home prices this year is prompting banks to sell off their REO inventory at a brisker pace. Sales of bank-owned homes made up 10 percent of residential sales in November, the third consecutive month for increases in REO sales, RealtyTrac reports. 

"Lenders are taking advantage of this environment to unload more of their bank-owned inventory and in-foreclosure inventory at the foreclosure auction," says RealtyTrac's Daren Blomquist. "But as the backlog of distressed inventory available dries up in many of the markets with the most efficient foreclosure processes — namely California, Arizona, and Nevada, with Georgia not far behind — overall sales volume is declining and will continue to do so until more nondistressed sellers enter the market."

Rick Sharga, executive vice president at Auction.com, says his company is “seeing more properties sold at trustee sales, and we are seeing more properties that are coming from servicers priced to sell at trustee sales.” 

Previously, mortgage servicers would put foreclosed homes up for sale at the full value of the loan, CNBC reports. However, those homes would often land back at the bank as investors sought larger discounts. “Ironically, as prices are rising, servicers are discounting the homes more,” CNBC reports. 

Start your home search out RIGHT! Access homes from a direct source! Text LKHOMES to 87778 today or go to http://87778.mobi/LKHOMES Available on iPad/Tablet/Smartphones

Source: “Sales of bank-owned homes surge,” CNBC (Dec. 20, 2013)

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

IRS Simplifies Home Office Deduction

Working from home can be beneficial! Hope these tips help! Need a home checkup? Call me Laura Key 310.866.8422

irs hat

The number of home owners who work from home at least one day a week increased nearly 10 percent — from 9.5 million to 13.4 million — between 1999 and 2010, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. However, only 3.4 million home owners claimed deductions for business use of a home in 2010, according to the IRS. 

The IRS recently announced a new safe harbor provision for home office deductions for the 2013 tax year. 

“This allows at-home workers the option to simply take a deduction capped at $1,500 per year based on $5 a square foot for up to 300 square feet,” FOX Business reported. “The requirement that home office space be exclusively used for business and limitations on income earned from that business still applies, and direct business expenses unrelated to the home (advertising, supplies and wages paid to employees, etc.) are fully deductible.”

"The home office deduction is one of the most misunderstood and abused deductions out there," says Margaret Munro, a tax consultant, about the changes. "If you have a valid home office, you take the deduction because you shouldn't be paying tax on money that you're using for your business."

For more information on the deduction, visit the IRS Web site.

Source: “IRS' Simpler Home Tax Deduction Cuts Through the Clutter,” FOX Business (July 24, 2013)

10 Most Desirable Do-it-Yourself Outdoor Projects

Increasing the value of your home does not have to mean it's costly! Call me today for free Home Checkup! Laura Key 310.866.8422

DIY

The warmer weather has home owners looking to spruce up their home’s outdoor spaces. So when it comes to do-it-yourself outdoor projects, which projects are most home owners tackling?

A survey of more than 1,200 home owners by the Home Project Council identified the following DIY outdoor projects as most desirable:

 

1. Plant a garden

2. Use decorative pebbles, stones or rocks for landscaping

3. Build a deck

4. Create a fire pit or barbecue pit

5. Build a patio or walkway using concrete pavers or bricks

6. Install or build a shed or storage building

7. Stain or paint siding or windows

8. Build a privacy fence

9. Stain or paint exterior concrete surfaces (patio, pool deck, driveway, sidewalk, etc.)

10. Repair or seal concrete cracks in patios, steps, or driveways

Home owners identified the most difficult or intimidating DIY outdoor projects as being building an outdoor kitchen and pouring concrete slabs for patios, steps, or sidewalks, or building a deck, according to the survey.

Source: Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine

Want to know what your home is worth in this market? Give me a call for a free CMA Laura Key 310.866.8422

Higher Home Prices Cool Buying Frenzy

Is all this frenzy creating a mini-housing bubble? What are your thoughts on this housing market?  Laura Key 310.866.8422

Home Not for Sale

The recent rise in home prices has more investors concerned that it will be increasingly difficult to turn a profit from their rental investments. Nearly half of U.S. real estate investors say they expect to purchase fewer rental homes in the next year, according to a recent survey conducted by polling firm ORC International.

Just 10 months ago, the percentage of investors who said they intend to buy fewer homes stood at 30 percent—compared to 48 percent today. Only about 20 percent of the investors surveyed say they plan to buy more homes in the next year—a drop from the 39 percent who reported they intend to buy more homes last August.

More than half of the investors surveyed who own rental properties say they plan to hold them for at least five years or more, and 33 percent plan to hold them for 10 years or more. 

“Higher prices are reducing returns on investment and investors are responding by cutting back on their purchasing plans until conditions sort out,” says Chris Clothier, a partner in MemphisInvest.com and Premier Property Management Group. “Fewer foreclosures, rising property values, and competition from hedge funds are making it tough to find good ideals on distressed sales. On the other hand, investors are planning to hold onto their rental properties for at least eight to 10 years and realize the benefits of rising rents and low vacancy rates. Cash flow is much more important than appreciation.”

Source: ORC International

Laura Key, CBS News, Buyer's Agent, Selling Agent, 

Thinking of Selling? I have buyers who are pre-approved and ready!  They are looking in several areas of Los Angeles county!

CBS_Video_Report

Do It Yourself Simple Repairs

You can save money with these simple fixes!

DIY

Treatment for a scratched wood floor.  For minor scratches, crayons will do the trick. Pick a color that matches the flooring, and color in the scratched area. Be sure to stay in the lines; then buff to a shine. A matching permanent marker can camouflage deeper, ugly scratches. Another method: Grind the meat of a walnut or pecan into the scratch. The nut oil will provide a shine that blends with a polyurethane or water-based surface finish.

Pennywise way to unclog a drain.  For a balky drain, try dropping three Alka-Seltzer tablets down the sink followed by a cup of white vinegar. After about 15 minutes, you can clear the drain with boiling water. Do not attempt this trick immediately after using a commercial drain opener like Drano or Liquid-Plumr.

You’ve stripped a screw. Now what do you do? Using a hacksaw, cut into the top of the screw to create a new groove for the screwdriver.

Clean up your walls . . . with toothpaste. Patch small holes using a putty knife or butter knife to smooth non-gel toothpaste into the hole. Sand the spot to smooth the surface. To erase crayon marks from walls, grab toothpaste (again, non-gel) and a scrub brush; then, just wipe until the marks are gone.

Curious to know how much your home is worth? Call me for a FREE Comparative Market Analysis!  Laura Key 310.866.8422

Condominiums – Should You Consider Purchasing One

Condominiums tend fall into the love them or hate them position for buyers

Condo

Condominiums are all about communal living, which can be good or bad depending upon your personal views. This type of communal living doesn’t refer to the failed experiments of the sixties wherein hippies packed into a structure and shared everything. Instead, the modern condominium community is all about sharing common spaces as well as rules, rules and more rules.

Condominiums come in all shapes and forms. Condos can be found in a single high rise building in a downtown area or in an apartment complex type of layout in a planned community. The structure isn’t the determining point. Instead, the issue is how the properties are owned.

Unlike a stand alone home, the property lines on a condominium are the walls of the structure. Essentially, you own everything inside the condominium as your individual property. Everything outside the condominium is owned jointly with the people who own the other units. These areas are known as common areas and are subject to group rule.

Every condominium has a homeowners association in one form or another. The association has rules set out by the original developer regarding landscaping and so on. Members of the community are then elected to the board of the association, whereupon the immediately become a focal point of aggravation from individual owners and often wonder why they took the thankless job.

The problem with the association and condos in general is the issue of uniformity. If you desire to change the exterior of your condominium in some way, you must comply with the rules of the association. This means you cannot paint your property a different color, do landscaping and so on. For some people, this isn’t a problem, but others are frustrated they can’t express themselves.

When deciding whether a condominium is a good option for your next purchase, you need to carefully weigh the restrictions of a particular association. If you consider yourself an individual and want to show it, a condominium is probably a very poor choice for you.

search_now

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