Five Ways to Come Up with a Down Payment

Coming up with a hefty down payment can be intimidating, but with a little work and ingenuity you can do it. Here are a few ideas for coming up with the needed cash:

1. Down-Payment Assistance Programs
Many states offer down-payment assistance programs. You must go through an application process and qualify based on income and credit, but if you do qualify, these programs are amazing. Typically you will receive a grant for the amount of your down payment; it’s basically free money from the government to encourage responsible citizens to buy their first home.

2. Try to Qualify for an FHA Loan
If you qualify, an FHA loan can make first-time home ownership much easier. FHA-backed loans typically offer more manageable down payments (as little as 3.5 percent compared to the 10-30 percent required for conventional home loans). These loans are subject to credit requirements but sometimes less stringent ones than other loans.

3. Help from Family
If your parents or other relatives are in a financial position to help you purchase your first home, they may be happy to do so. Approach the conversation with a gracious and humble mind frame and don’t expect a specific outcome. Emphasize that you are ready to become a homeowner and begin solidifying your financial future, but that you don’t have enough cash on hand for a down payment.

Perhaps you are planning to get married in the near future. Instead of asking your parents to help you pay for the wedding, ask for help with a down payment—a smaller, more modest wedding may be well worth becoming a homeowner. As long as the gift is less than $13,000 (or $26,000 for a couple), you shouldn’t have to pay income taxes on it, either.

4. Boost Your Income
Instead of looking at your current income and thinking that saving a chunk of money is impossible, ask yourself how you can earn more money. Options include freelancing on the side or getting a job on the weekends working retail or at a restaurant. No matter how you choose to boost your income, the main goal is to continue living on your old income while putting away any extra money.

5. Borrow from Your IRA
While taking out a loan from your retirement account is generally frowned upon and penalized with taxes and early-withdrawal fees, one exception is borrowing from your IRA specifically for a down payment on a house. If you qualify, you can borrow up to $10,000 penalty-free toward a real estate purchase.

Are you thinking about purchasing a home and looking for advice on where to start? Give me a call at (626) 252-0839,  we will sit down and draft out a plan for your specific situation, whether it be buying something this month or 6-12 months down the line, its important to have knowledge and tools available to you. Let me help! 

Are you wondering what your home would sell for in today’s market? Click HERE for a free estimate! 

For a more in depth consultation please contact us directly at (626) 252-0839

4 WAYS EMOTIONS CAN INTERFERE WITH HOUSE HUNTING

Buying a home is an exciting, emotional, and stressful project. Whether you have purchased a home before or are preparing to buy your first one, you don’t want to let your emotions make the decision for you. The following are pitfalls that can be costly, and you’ll want to avoid them.

1. Love at First Sight
Don’t fall in love with the first house you see and determine to buy it no matter what. You could end up overpaying for the property. Or, after the sale, you may discover costly repairs that will negate any profit from a future resale. Many real estate agents insist their clients look at a few houses before entering into a contract because they have witnessed buyer remorse when clients insist on buying the first or second home they see.

2. Always Looking for a Better Deal
These buyers are just the opposite of the love-at-first-sight crowd. They think there is always a better deal than the one they just saw, or they hope the price will drop on some of the homes they have liked. While it is possible, it is highly unlikely. If you pass up a good deal just because you think the owner is going to drop the price later on, you are giving another buyer the chance to snatch it up. If a home has all you want, is in the right neighborhood, and is priced well, you better buy it before it’s gone.

3. Paying Too Much for the “Perfect” Home
It is highly unlikely there is any such thing as a perfect home, but sometimes buyers believe they have found one. When this happens the buyer acts on their emotions because they will do anything to get that house. When you buy a home, you always need to know you can resell it without losing any money. Unfortunately, when people find what they believe is the perfect home, they will often bid high to ensure their offer is accepted and in the process may overextend themselves financially.

4. Unrealistic Offers
The opposite of the overpayer is the low bidder. There is a big difference between negotiating a price with a seller and offering an unrealistically low price. Discuss this with your agent before you wind up alienating the seller and possibly the chance to buy the property. Making a realistic bid that is good for you and the seller is the answer to getting the property you want.

Shopping with your emotions rarely yields a good deal. Listen to your real estate agent’s suggestions, look at several homes, and then make your decision. Once you have your home, don’t look back. Enjoy this home and make improvements. You will be one step closer to your dream home.

Are you thinking about purchasing a home and looking for advise on where to start? Give me a call at (626) 252-0839,  we will sit down and draft out a plan for your specific situation, whether it be buying something this month or 6-12 months down the line, its important to have the tools available to you. Let me help! 

Are you wondering what your home would sell for in today’s market? Click HERE for a free estimate! 

For a more in depth consultation please contact us directly at (626) 252-0839

Seven Reasons Why You Need A Real Estate Professional To Help Sell Your House

Eventually almost everyone faces the task of selling their home. During these transitions, many people wonder if they should save some money and list their house for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) instead of using a real estate agent. In reality, using a qualified agent can simplify the process and save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Here are seven perks that a qualified real estate professional can provide:

1. Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Database
This is the digital age and buyers no longer rely solely on their agent to identify possible homes. In fact, many buyers become obsessed with searching the easily accessible online MLS database both before and during the actual home-search process.

2. Marketing Plan
The MLS database is a great place to begin, but savvy real estate agents develop comprehensive marketing plans that go beyond the database. In this recovering real estate market, a combination of selling tools is often necessary to reach your closing date quickly. A variety of advertising strategies is important, but so is networking with other real estate agents.

3. Attracting Buyers’ Agents
Many buyers’ agents are wary of showing a house without a listing agreement even if the FSBO advertising promises a reasonable commission. There is great risk involved when an agent works without the usual contracts. Since most home buyers have an agent, listing your home FSBO excludes a large portion of your customer base.

4. Faster Results
Real estate agents know how to price homes correctly. Also, having a professional marketing plan accelerates the traffic to your home, increasing your odds of a quick sale.

5. Security
When your home is FSBO, you must choose between leaving strangers inside without any accountability and showing the home yourself. Since leaving people alone is not a safe option, FSBO homes are usually shown by the owner. Naturally, when you show the home yourself, your potential buyers will spend less time discussing the pros and cons of your property. They don’t wish to prejudice negotiations by telling you what they like, or offend you by telling you what they don’t like. This silence leaves you unable to encourage the pros and reasonably discuss the cons?a finely honed skill of quality real estate agents.

6. Negotiations
Sometimes negotiating can get a little sticky. Buyers may want repairs that weren’t in the sellers’ budget, or they may try to “test the water” with lowball offers. Real estate agents can work with each other rather than directly with buyers and sellers, distancing themselves and keeping emotional clients focused on the big picture. The result is often a compromise that pleases everyone.

7. Closing
The buying and selling of property is one of the largest business transactions most families face. Sometimes closings are not simple affairs. They can become clouded by chain-of-title issues or conflicting survey results. Even homeowners’ association disputes can complicate the closing process. It just makes sense to use a professional when dealing with complex legal documents.

With over 20 years of experience, we have all the knowledge and experience that you need when selling your home in today’s market. Give us a call today or click here for a quick, no obligation estimate of how much your home ins worth today.

How’s the Market??? Snapshot for June 2016- Real Estate Market Trends

Here is this month’s How’s the Market??? Snapshot. If you saw last month’s Snapshot you will notice that our local real estate trends show median prices are still creeping up, its just taking a little longer for homes to sell! If Hows the market imageyou would like more detailed information about how much your home is now worth after the Real Estate Crash, send me an email, text, or call me. I’ll be more than happy to provide you with a Free, no obligation report of what its worth and things you can do to improve the value of your home.
I hope you will find the following snapshot of local Real Estate inventory interesting. The table represents aggregated values based on MLS data for the specified date.

Housing Inventory Snapshot June 27, 2016
Average List Price 30 Days Trend Median List Price 30 Days Trend Average DOM: active 30 Days Trend Number of Listings
Los Angeles County, CA
Single Family under $1M $603,548 1.46% $599,000 3.28% 61 0 7894
Single Family over $1M $3,418,896 -3.43% $1,990,000 -0.45% 82 1 6147
Condo/Townhome under $600K $399,871 1.20% $400,000 0.25% 56 -1 2101
Condo/Townhome over $600K $1,161,368 -3.71% $888,000 -1.22% 59 1 1571
Riverside County, CA
Single Family under $500K $341,969 0.04% $349,000 0.03% 79 0 5655
Single Family over $500K $1,562,278 -1.81% $939,000 -0.95% 102 1 6359
Condo/Townhome under $300K $206,691 -0.43% $214,900 -0.05% 120 3 1035
Condo/Townhome over $300K $603,547 0.69% $499,000 0.81% 89 -2 1432
San Bernardino County, CA
Single Family under $500K $300,429 1.79% $299,900 0.30% 87 -1 4645
Single Family over $500K $1,671,680 -3.16% $975,000 -1.40% 88 0 4613
Condo/Townhome under $300K $197,325 -0.94% $219,800 2.23% 77 -2 223
Condo/Townhome over $300K $701,870 -4.00% $598,000 -4.32% 44 0 819
Orange County, CA
Single Family under $1M $781,130 0.21% $770,000 -0.76% 59 2 5238
Single Family over $1M $3,477,692 -1.67% $2,200,888 -4.10% 95 2 3224
Condo/Townhome under $600K $420,328 1.17% $429,000 0.94% 54 1 1485
Condo/Townhome over $600K $1,004,403 -1.77% $799,900 -1.84% 61 3 1038
If you know someone who is considering buying or selling a home, please give me a call. I will provide professional & courteous service along with knowledgeable guidance through the process.
Sincerely,
Yesenia E. Ruvalcaba-Garcia, Broker
Realtor®/HUD REO & Listing Specialist
Direct (626) 252-0839
Office (626) 917-6200 ext. 14
Cell Phone (626) 252-0839
Fax (626) 209-8318
CalBRE License Number: 01293970
yeseniaruvalcaba@aol.com
newcenturybroker.com
New Century Realtors

How’s the Market??? Snapshot for May 2016- Real Estate Market Trends

Here is this month’s How’s the Market??? Snapshot. If you saw last month’s Snapshot you will notice that our local real estate trends show median prices are still creeping up, its just taking a little longer for homes to sell! If Hows the market imageyou would like more detailed information about how much your home is now worth after the Real Estate Crash, send me an email, text, or call me. I’ll be more than happy to provide you with a Free, no obligation report of what its worth and things you can do to improve the value of your home.


I hope you will find the following snapshot of local Real Estate inventory interesting. The table represents aggregated values based on MLS data for the specified date.

Housing Inventory Snapshot May 28, 2016
Average List Price 30 Days Trend Median List Price 30 Days Trend Average DOM: active 30 Days Trend Number of Listings
Los Angeles County, CA
Single Family under $1M $594,878 1.92% $580,000 1.93% 61 -2 7301
Single Family over $1M $3,540,466 -1.93% $1,999,000 -3.89% 81 -2 5624
Condo/Townhome under $600K $395,119 0.15% $399,000 0.00% 57 -2 1934
Condo/Townhome over $600K $1,206,112 -2.46% $899,000 0.45% 57 -1 1470
Riverside County, CA
Single Family under $500K $341,816 0.81% $348,900 1.16% 79 -3 5584
Single Family over $500K $1,591,035 -0.58% $948,000 0.11% 101 0 6197
Condo/Townhome under $300K $207,583 1.19% $215,000 2.38% 117 1 1119
Condo/Townhome over $300K $599,431 5.38% $495,000 4.21% 91 -1 1455
San Bernardino County, CA
Single Family under $500K $295,148 0.42% $299,000 2.05% 88 -3 4428
Single Family over $500K $1,726,264 -2.59% $988,888 -0.96% 89 -1 4130
Condo/Townhome under $300K $199,206 1.79% $215,000 0.00% 79 -3 239
Condo/Townhome over $300K $731,085 6.36% $625,000 4.34% 44 1 726
Orange County, CA
Single Family under $1M $779,477 1.26% $775,900 1.44% 57 -3 4745
Single Family over $1M $3,536,817 0.38% $2,295,000 0.00% 93 1 3030
Condo/Townhome under $600K $415,469 1.55% $425,000 1.92% 53 -2 1342
Condo/Townhome over $600K $1,022,517 -0.96% $814,900 -0.83% 58 1 973
If you know someone who is considering buying or selling a home, please give me a call. I will provide professional & courteous service along with knowledgeable guidance through the process.
Sincerely,
Yesenia E. Ruvalcaba-Garcia, Broker
Realtor®/HUD REO & Listing Specialist
Direct (626) 252-0839
Office (626) 917-6200 ext. 14
Cell Phone (626) 252-0839
Fax (626) 209-8318
CalBRE License Number: 01293970
yeseniaruvalcaba@aol.com
newcenturybroker.com
New Century Realtors

The National Housing Market: Low Inventory, Higher Prices

Every major region of the country saw existing-home sales climb in March. The large gains posted in the Northeast and Midwest helped sales climb 1.5 percent higher than a year ago. Buyers in these regions overcame inventory woes and affordability issues to make their home purchases. On the supply side, there were 1.98 million existing homes for sale at the end of March; at the current sales pace, this represents a 4.5-month supply. Inventory was 5.9 percent higher than a month ago but 1.5 percent lower than a year ago, when housing inventory stood at 2.01 million. This lack of inventory helped drive home prices up. In March, the median existing-home price for all housing types reached $222,700, a rise of 5.7 percent year over year. For the past 49 consecutive months, median prices have seen year-over-year gains, making home affordability a growing concern for buyers.

The Starter Market
First-time buyers accounted for 30 percent of all buyers in March, a figure that is unchanged from both a month ago and a year ago. For all of 2015, the share of first-time buyers in the market was also at 30 percent. According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, “With rents steadily rising and average fixed rates well below 4 percent, qualified first-time buyers should be more active participants than what they are right now.” Unfortunately, the same barriers to market entry that stymied first-time buyers in the past are still in place—affordability issues and low availability of starter homes on the market.

The Money-Making Market
Investors are another group who managed to maintain their share of the housing market. All-cash sales remained the same from February to March, accounting for 25 percent of all transactions, up 1 percent from a year ago. Individual investors are behind many of the all-cash sales; in March, 66 percent of them paid for their investments with cash. Of all the homes sold in March, 14 percent were purchased by individual investors, a 4 percent decline from a month ago but unchanged from a year ago.

Regional Home Sales

Northeast: Existing-home sales’ annual rate: 700,000, an increase of 11.1 percent. Sales are 7.7 percent higher than March 2015.

Midwest: Existing-home sales’ annual rate: 1.23 million, an increase of 9.8 percent. Sales are 0.8 percent higher than March 2015.

South: Existing-home sales’ annual rate: 2.25 million, an increase of 2.7 percent. Sales are 2.3 percent higher than March 2015.

West: Existing-home sales’ annual rate: 1.15 million, an increase of 1.8 percent. Sales are 2.5 percent lower than March 2015.

1-626-252-0839 Sell While the Market is HOTT!  What’s Your Home Worth? Find out Now! 

If you’ve been thinking about selling your home, chances are that you’re excited about the possibility of moving and starting a new chapter of your life. Simply deciding to sell your home isn’t enough, though. The process of putting your home on the market can be overwhelming and time-consuming, so before you try to sell your property, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Being honest with yourself and with the people around you will help you have a more positive selling experience when you’re ready to move. 

PREQUALIFIED VERSUS PREAPPROVED

If you are planning on buying a home in the next year, there are a few things you should do before you start looking: decide on the neighborhood that will provide you with good schools and a reasonable commute to work; get your credit reports and confirm all the information is accurate; and learn the difference between pre-qualified and pre-approved mortgage loans.

What Does Pre-qualified Mean?
The first thing you need to know is that being pre-qualified for a mortgage does not guarantee you will get one. When a lender sits down to talk to a prospective buyer, they will ask questions about the buyer’s credit, assets, and income. It’s important to note that no verification of income and assets takes place and no credit check is run. Pre-qualification is based solely on the information you provide to the lender, and it does not mean you will secure a loan.

What Does Pre-approval Mean?
When you are pre-approved by a lender, it means your credit check has been approved and your income and assets have been verified. The lender has made the decision to lend you a certain amount of money to purchase a home. The real estate agent and the seller know you can buy the house if you like it. A pre-approval letter from the lender defines how large a mortgage you are approved for. There is usually a time frame, such as 120 days, to use the pre-approval for the purchase of a home.

To Get Pre-approved You Will Need:

  • At least two years of W-2 forms, several weeks of current pay stubs that provide year-to-date income, two most recent tax returns, plus, proof of bonuses, alimony, and any other earned money.

  • Bank and investment account statements, which provide proof of assets that can cover the down payment and closing costs. If you receive money from family to use for your down payment, you will need a gift letter stating no loan is involved.

  • A credit score of 740 or higher to get the lowest interest rates. If your score is lower, you will have to pay more in interest or possibly make a larger down payment. FHA loans require a minimum of a 620 credit score.

  • A copy of your driver’s license and Social Security number. You will also have to sign a release form allowing the lender to pull your credit report. You may be asked to provide additional paperwork if you have any specific circumstances that can affect your loan.

A pre-approval letter is what you need to get before you go house shopping. Do your preparation work before approaching a lender. Be cooperative, answer all the questions you are asked, and provide requested documents promptly. Once you have your pre-approval, it’s time to find your new home.

1-626-252-0839 Sell While the Market is HOTT!  What’s Your Home Worth? Find out Now! 

If you’ve been thinking about selling your home, chances are that you’re excited about the possibility of moving and starting a new chapter of your life. Simply deciding to sell your home isn’t enough, though. The process of putting your home on the market can be overwhelming and time-consuming, so before you try to sell your property, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Being honest with yourself and with the people around you will help you have a more positive selling experience when you’re ready to move.