Find Homes For Sale. Search real estate, recently sold properties, foreclosures, new homes, maps, schools and more ... www.DanielAndradeHomes.com

10 Questions to Ask Home Inspectors

Before you make your final buying or selling decision, you should have the home inspected by a professional. An inspection can alert you to potential problems with a property and allow you to make an informed decision. Ask these questions to prospective home inspectors:

1. Will your inspection meet recognized standards Ask whether the inspection and the inspection report will meet all state requirements and comply with a well-recognized standard of practice and code of ethics, such as the one adopted by the American Society of Home Inspectors or the National Association of Home Inspectors. Customers can view each group s standards of practice and code of ethics online at www.ashi.org or www.nahi.org. ASHI s Web site also provides a database of state regulations.

2. Do you belong to a professional home inspector association There are many state and national associations for home inspectors, including the two groups mentioned in No. 1. Unfortunately, some groups confer questionable credentials or certifications in return for nothing more than a fee. Insist on members of reputable, nonprofit trade organizations; request to see a membership ID.

3. How experienced are you Ask how long inspectors have been in the profession and how many inspections they ve completed. They should provide customer referrals on request. New inspectors also may be highly qualified, but they should describe their training and let you know whether they plan to work with a more experienced partner.

4. How do you keep your expertise up to date Inspectors commitment to continuing education is a good measure of their professionalism and service. Advanced knowledge is especially important in cases in which a home is older or includes unique elements requiring additional or updated training.

5. Do you focus on residential inspection Make sure the inspector has training and experience in the unique discipline of home inspection, which is very different from inspecting commercial buildings or a construction site. If your customers are buying a unique property, such as a historic home, they may want to ask whether the inspector has experience with that type of property in particular.

6. Will you offer to do repairs or improvements Some state laws and trade associations allow the inspector to provide repair work on problems uncovered during the inspection. However, other states and associations forbid it as a conflict of interest. Contact your local ASHI chapter to learn about the rules in your state.

7. How long will the inspection take On average, an inspector working alone inspects a typical single-family house in two to three hours; anything significantly less may not be thorough. If your customers are purchasing an especially large property, they may want to ask whether additional inspectors will be brought in.

8. What s the cost Costs can vary dramatically, depending on your region, the size and age of the house, and the scope of services. The national average for single-family homes is about $320, but customers with large homes can expect to pay more. Customers should be wary of deals that seem too good to be true.

9. What type of inspection report do you provide Ask to see samples to determine whether you will understand the inspector’s reporting style. Also, most inspectors provide their full report within 24 hours of the inspection.

10. Will I be able to attend the inspection The answer should be yes. A home inspection is a valuable educational opportunity for the buyer. An inspector’s refusal to let the buyer attend should raise a red flag.

Source: Rob Paterkiewicz, executive director, American Society of Home Inspectors, Des Plaines, Ill., www.ashi.org.

Reprinted from REALTOR magazine (REALTOR.org/realtormag) with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS .
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

Determine How Much Mortgage You Can Afford

By: G. M. Filisko

By knowing how much mortgage you can handle, you can ensure that home ownership will fit in your budget.

Homeownership should make you feel safe and secure, and that includes financially. Be sure you can afford your home by calculating how much of a mortgage you can safely fit into your budget.

Instead of just taking out the biggest mortgage a lender qualifies you to borrow, consider how much you want to pay each month for housing based on your financial and personal goals.

Think ahead to major life events and consider how those might influence your budget. Do you want to return to school for an advanced degree Will a new child add day care to your monthly expenses Does a relative plan to eventually live with you and contribute to the mortgage

Still not sure how much you can afford You can use the same formulas that most lenders use, or try another of these traditional methods for estimating the amount of mortgage you can afford.

1. The general rule of mortgage affordability
As a rule of thumb, you can typically afford a home priced two to three times your gross income. If you earn $100,000, you can typically afford a home between $200,000 and $300,000.

To understand how that rule applies to your particular financial situation, prepare a family budget and list all the costs of homeownership, like property taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, and community association fees, if applicable, as well as costs specific to your family, such as day care costs.

2. Factor in your downpayment
How much money do you have for a downpayment The higher your downpayment, the lower your monthly payments will be. If you put down at least 20% of the home’s cost, you may not have to get private mortgage insurance, which costs hundreds each month. That leaves more money for your mortgage payment.
The lower your downpayment, the higher the loan amount you’ll need to qualify for and the higher your monthly mortgage payment.

3. Consider your overall debt
Lenders generally follow the 28/41 rule. Your monthly mortgage payments covering your home loan principal, interest, taxes, and insurance shouldn’t total more than 28% of your gross annual income. Your overall monthly payments for your mortgage plus all your other bills, like car loans, utilities, and credit cards, shouldn’t exceed 41% of your gross annual income.

Here’s how that works. If your gross annual income is $100,000, multiply by 28% and then divide by 12 months to arrive at a monthly mortgage payment of $2,333 or less. Next, check the total of all your monthly bills including your potential mortgage and make sure they don’t top 41%, or $3,416 in our example.

4. Use your rent as a mortgage guide
The tax benefits of homeownership generally allow you to afford a mortgage payment-including taxes and insurance-of about one-third more than your current rent payment without changing your lifestyle. So you can multiply your current rent by 1.33 to arrive at a rough estimate of a mortgage payment.

Here’s an example. If you currently pay $1,500 per month in rent, you should be able to comfortably afford a $2,000 monthly mortgage payment after factoring in the tax benefits of homeownership.

However, if you’re struggling to keep up with your rent, consider what amount would be comfortable and use that for the calcuation instead.

Also consider whether or not you’ll itemize your deductions. If you take the standard deduction, you can’t also deduct mortgage interest payments. Talking to a tax adviser, or using a tax software program to do a “what if” tax return, can help you see your tax situation more clearly.

More from HouseLogic
More on the mortgage interest deduction (http://www.houselogic.com/articles/mortgage-interest-deduction-vital-housing-market/)

More on the tax advantages of homeownership (http://www.houselogic.com/articles/tax-tips-homeowners-preparing-2009-returns/)

Other web resources
A worksheet on home affordability (http://www.ginniemae.gov/2_prequal/intro_questions.asp Section=YPTH)

Freddie Mac information on home affordability (http://www.freddiemac.com/corporate/buyown/english/preparing/right_for_you/afford.html)
G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who’s owned her own home for more than 20 years. A frequent contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to Streamline Short Sales

 New Timelines Take Effect in June 

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to develop enhanced and aligned strategies for facilitating short sales, deeds-in-lieu and deeds-for-lease in order to help more homeowners avoid foreclosure. The effort will come in stages with the first taking place this June. The new, aligned timelines include the requirement that mortgage servicers review and respond to requests for short sales within 30 calendar days from receipt of a short sale offer.

Click Me! To Find Out Everything
You Need to Know About
Foreclosures and Short Sales

“FHFA and the Enterprises are committed to enhancing the short sales and deeds-in-lieu process as additional tools to prevent foreclosure, keep homes occupied and help maintain stable communities,” said FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco. “These timeline and borrower communication announcements set minimum standards and provide clear expectations regarding these important foreclosure alternatives.”

With the alignment, servicers will be required to do the following: 

  • review and respond to requests for short sales within 30 calendar days from receipt of a short sale offer and a complete borrower response package;
  • provide weekly status updates to the borrower if the short sale offer is still under review after 30 calendar days;
  • make and communicate final decisions to the borrower within 60 calendar days of receipt of the offer and complete borrower response package.

By the end of 2012, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will announce additional enhancements addressing borrower eligibility and evaluation, documentation simplification, property valuation, fraud mitigation, payments to subordinate lien holders, and mortgage insurance.

6 Creative Ways to Afford a Home

1. Investigate local, state, and national down payment assistance programs. These programs give qualified applicants loans or grants to cover all or part of your required down payment. National programs include the Nehemiah program, www.getdownpayment.com, and the American Dream Down Payment Fund from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, www.hud.gov.

2. Explore seller financing. In some cases, sellers may be willing to finance all or part of the purchase price of the home and let you repay them gradually, just as you would do with a mortgage.

3. Consider a shared-appreciation or shared-equity arrangement. Under this arrangement, your family, friends, or even a third-party may buy a portion of the home and share in any appreciation when the home is sold. The owner/occupant usually pays the mortgage, property taxes, and maintenance costs, but all the investors’ names are usually on the mortgage. Companies are available that can help you find such an investor, if your family can t participate.

4. Ask your family for help. Perhaps a family member will loan you money for the down payment or act as a co-signer for the mortgage. Lenders often like to have a co-signer if you have little credit history.

5. Lease with the option to buy. Renting the home for a year or more will give you the chance to save more toward your down payment. And in many cases, owners will apply some of the rental amount toward the purchase price. You usually have to pay a small, nonrefundable option fee to the owner.

6. Consider a short-term second mortgage. If you can qualify for a short-term second mortgage, this would give you money to make a larger down payment. This may be possible if you re in good financial standing, with a strong income and little other debt.

Reprinted from REALTOR magazine (REALTOR.org/realtormag) with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS .
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

Americans ready to spend money…especially on housing

As a positive sign for the U.S. economy and housing conditions, Americans are reportedly more optimistic about buying a home, according to the PulteGroup Home Index survey. Overall attitudes toward buying a home is trending positive, and Margaret Gramann, senior vice president of sales for PulteGroup, Inc., commented, “For the first time in years, Americans have a growing sense of optimism that the housing market is improving, and that these positive changes may be sustainable.”

Making sense of the story

  • The survey found that 67 percent of people say they plan on purchasing a home, and of that amount, 32 percent are looking to buy within the next two years.
  • Twenty-one percent would move up their buying timeline if they were able to sell their current home at a higher price point/break their lease without penalty.
  • The results indicate that 57 percent of adults think now is a good or excellent time to purchase items they want or need, especially when it comes to entering the housing market.
  • Millennials and move-up buyers represent the most engaged consumer segments, 85 percent and 71 percent, respectively, intending to purchase a home in the future.
  • As for baby boomer trends, 50 percent of those aged 55 and older are looking to purchase a home in the future.
  • Seventy percent of home shoppers plan to spend more or as much money on their next home, and 64 percent prefer to spend more on a home that’s move-in ready rather than spend less and renovate.

Source: HousingWire

Read the full story

Talking Points …

  • Homeowners largely have not extracted any recovered equity in their homes, according to a survey by Freddie Mac. Borrowers with conventional loans pulled just $6.5 billion out of their homes during the first quarter through cash-out refinancing, down from $6.7 billion during the prior quarter.
  • Cash-out refinancing has been lower only in three quarters since mid-2000, and when adjusted for inflation, cash-out refinancing since 2010 has been near its lowest levels since 1997.
  • Cash-out refinancing surged during the housing bubble, reaching a high of $84 billion during the second quarter of 2006. But many borrowers ended up in a position where they owed more than their homes were worth, resulting in a painful pay-back that continues today.

Forty-percent of Home Sellers Plan to Price Higher Than Market Value

Home sellers are kicking off the spring real estate season with what might be considered a risky pricing strategy: 40.3 percent say they plan to price their homes above market value, despite warnings from their agents, according to the latest Real-Time Seller Survey from Redfin.

More than half (51.3 percent) of home sellers surveyed said they plan to price their home in the middle of the range based on local comparable sales. An analysis by Redfin found that a home listing gets nearly four times more visits on real estate websites during the first week on the market than it does a month later.

In the second quarter, 52.4 percent of sellers were confident that now is a good time to sell their home, compared with 37.5 percent in the first quarter. Nevertheless, home sellers are not free from worry. In the second quarter, 40.9 percent of sellers said they are worried about being able to afford their next home.
More info

Real Estate Syndication – Does a New World Need a New Way?

The world has gotten sufficiently complicated, where many of the rules that have been written in the past need to be broken or disregarded so that we can move forward and break through the log jam.

This is true in the real estate syndication business, but it also applies to the operations of traditional businesses as well as the entities that fund them. Many syndicators feel competitive with one another, and therefore, they refuse to share information that could help both of them to move forward. This competitive spirit is not only misplaced, but it’s slowing down the entrepreneurial promoters’ ability to move forward.

Small syndicators are really not competitors with one another. Instead, small syndicators have to worry about their ability to compete against the larger players in that market who are gobbling up all of the properties and the deals that could otherwise be shared. The only way for small entrepreneurial syndicators to succeed is by working together to combine deals, to pool investors, and to share fees. Otherwise, trouble will be on the horizon for all of us.

This may seem somewhat counter-intuitive, but the only place where we compete is really in the acquisition of investors – and there are plenty of accredited investors to go around. We might seem to compete for properties, but there are plenty of properties all over the United States for us to cooperate on. And if we can figure out a way to share fees, then everything else will be easy.

One of the most important benefits that I promote at the Real Estate Deal Making Symposium and Syndication Seminar is the networking activities that take place between the participants. I promote this not only because I believe we can help one another intellectually, but also because I believe that doing deals together is the way to go.

Since there are four skills that are required to put together a syndication, and since most of us don’t have (or at a minimum we don’t specialize in) all four of these skill areas, we have to cooperate with others who do work in those areas and who do specialize in those skills.

Consider the following major skill categories and determine the one that you are strongest in. Then find others to fill in the gaps where you are lacking.

Market Skills – Intense knowledge of the deals in the marketplace and being able to pick the right ones to syndicate.

Capital Skills – Understanding and raising the money and how its structure will work for your deal.

Property Management or Asset Management Skills – Looking after the real estate once you acquire it, with the ability to implement the business plan that is the basis for the investment in the project.

Business Management – As the number of syndications increase, special skills will be required to deal with the attorneys, accountants, investors and other constituents interested in the investments that you have set up.

Don’t take these four major skill areas lightly. Whether you are a promoter or an investor, you should make sure that your team has all of these skills in place.

If you believe that syndicating together is the way to go, then take advantage of the other syndicators who you know, and work with them. And if you don’t know other syndicators, then get involved with us and our new organization (the National Association of Syndicators) because this business is a great business, but we have to do it a different way or it may not work out for any of us.

Join our new Facebook group http://tinyurl.com/yekewfz to learn more.

We are in the real estate syndication business. We invest in properties and we offer seminars to assist others in acquiring the skills needed to syndicate properties. This topic is very relevant for helping you in raising funds or investment capital for any real estate investment, whether it be for commercial property or another kind of investment property.

Joel began his career as a CPA with the prestigious firm of Price Waterhouse. During his time with the company’s Entrepreneurial Services Group, Joel immersed himself in the real estate syndication business. After reviewing hundreds of partnership agreements and preparing as many tax returns, he left Price Waterhouse in 1986 to start his own syndication firm, raising several million dollars in three short years. By 1990, Joel had built a property management firm of more than 40 employees with a portfolio exceeding $100 million. Joel continues to syndicate real estate and other assets, as well as counseling other promoters on successful syndication strategies. He is also involved in film financing and invests in early stage companies and other deals. For more information about Joel Block and his upcoming seminar, visit his site at http://syndicatefast.com/

Author: Joel G. Block
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
Import duty tariff

Lender or Broker?

Make an Informed Decision

When it comes time to look for financing for your upcoming purchase, there are a couple of options. You can go directly to a lender or use a mortgage broker. Your real estate agent may have a list of good lenders and mortgage brokers in your area. In addition, most major daily newspapers have home buying sections in their weekend editions. This is another good place to find information about lenders and mortgage brokers in your area. And finally, a simple search on the internet will turn up many suggestions for home loans.

A lender typically is a bank, mortgage company, credit union or savings and loan. A mortgage broker is a middleman who is usually independent of a lender. Mortgage brokers arrange loans from various sources and earn a commission for their services.

Some lenders will charge for the pre-approval process given the extra effort involved. However, do not choose a lender solely because they don’t charge for this process. Look at all of the costs involved!

To choose a good lender, do research on those in your area. Check interest rates, fees and loan terms against other lenders. Just be sure to take the time to research and compare different lenders so you get the best deal. Often, lenders will look for borrowers without any special circumstances. That is, they’ll want a good or better credit score, documented income, and a standard piece of property to lend on.

Comparing mortgage brokers is a good idea too. If one happens to offer rates and terms that are drastically better than anyone else out there, this could be a warning sign! Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. A good mortgage broker will be able to do your mortgage shopping for you. They’ll compare rates and fees, while looking for a lender that suits your individual needs. They should also be able to explain the details of the loan to your satisfaction. In addition, if any of the special circumstances discussed above low credit scores, undocumented income or a unique piece of property apply to you, a good mortgage broker can help make a difference.

Common Closing Costs for Buyers

You ll likely be responsible for a variety of fees and expenses that you and the seller will have to pay at the time of closing. Your lender must provide a good-faith estimate of all settlement costs. The title company or other entity conducting the closing will tell you the required amount for:

Down payment
Loan origination
Points, or loan discount fees, which you pay to receive a lower interest rate
Home inspection
Appraisal
Credit report
Private mortgage insurance premium
Insurance escrow for homeowner s insurance, if being paid as part of the mortgage
Property tax escrow, if being paid as part of the mortgage. Lenders keep funds for taxes and insurance in escrow accounts as they are paid with the mortgage, then pay the insurance or taxes for you.
Deed recording
Title insurance policy premiums
Land survey
Notary fees
Prorations for your share of costs, such as utility bills and property taxes

A Note About Prorations: Because such costs are usually paid on either a monthly or yearly basis, you might have to pay a bill for services used by the sellers before they moved. Proration is a way for the sellers to pay you back or for you to pay them for bills they may have paid in advance. For example, the gas company usually sends a bill each month for the gas used during the previous month. But assume you buy the home on the 6th of the month. You would owe the gas company for only the days from the 6th to the end for the month. The seller would owe for the first five days. The bill would be prorated for the number of days in the month, and then each person would be responsible for the days of his or her ownership.

Reprinted from REALTOR magazine (REALTOR.org/realtormag) with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS .
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

Real Estate Economic Update

Last Week in the News


The South Gate Real Estate Market is looking good.

Existing home sales rose 4.3% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million units from a downwardly revised 4.38 million units in December. The inventory of unsold homes on the market decreased to 2.31 million, a 6.1-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 6.4-month supply in December.

Retail sales rose 3% for the week ending February 18, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index. On a year-over-year basis, retailers saw sales increase 3.2%.

New home sales fell 0.9% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 321,000 units from an upwardly revised rate of 324,000 units in December. The initial December reading was 307,000. The November rate was also revised higher to 318,000 units. At the current sales pace, there’s a 5.6-month supply of new homes on the market, the lowest reading in six years.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending February 17 fell 4.5%. Refinancing applications decreased 4.8%. Purchase volume fell 2.9%.

Industrial production at the nation’s factories, mines and utilities was unchanged in January after advancing an upwardly revised 1% in December. Compared to a year ago, industrial production is up 3.4%. Capacity utilization fell slightly to 78.5% in January from 78.6% in December.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending February 18 were unchanged at 351,000. Continuing claims for the week ending February 11 fell by 52,000 to 3.392 million, the lowest level since August 2008.

Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on pending home sales on February 27, the housing price index on February 28 and construction spending on March 1.

Find Homes For Sale. Search real estate, recently sold properties, foreclosures, new homes, maps, schools and more ... www.DanielAndradeHomes.com

This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper. Find Homes For Sale. Search real estate, recently sold properties, foreclosures, new homes, maps, schools and more ...
www.DanielAndradeHomes.com


Click for Privacy Policy

Daniel Andrade, REALTOR® DRE #: 01849983
Century 21 My Real Estate Co
7825 Florence Avenue, Downey , CA 90240
call today 323-215-9836
daniel@mynewhouses.com

Each Office is Independently Owned and Operated © 2012 Century 21 Real Estate Corporation. CENTURY 21® is a registered trademark owned by Century 21 Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal housing Opportunity. Each office is independently owned and operated. Copyright © %current-year% %home% - All Rights Reserved