Buying a Home Is Getting Easier

Things are looking better for home buyers  and re financiers in terms of underwriting requirements and credit scores.  FHA loan applications will accept a credit scores as low as 600.   Buyers can have a lower credit score, but if they have a solid income, sufficient savings, and a large enough down payment then the banks will  consider their loan application.  This would help some people who experienced  economic hardship in the past that harmed their credit score, but are now eligible candidates.  

Down payments are lower.   the Federal Housing Administration just reduced the high upfront mortgage insurance premiums  which will allow a wider array of  home buyers to qualify. The FHA insures loans with down payments as low as 3.5% since late January.  Moreover, Conventional loans may only require as little as 3% down.  

Wells Fargo has also loosened it’s policy on gifts from relatives and friends to help with the closing costs.  Before a purchaser needed 5% down from their own resources. Now it’s only 3% down, and the remaining can be a gift.

If your thinking about buying a home, it’s a perfect time to talk to lenders and mortgage brokers.  These changes may be enough to buy a house.

Distributed by Washington Post


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If you are looking to remodel your home but you don’t know where to start or don’t have any idea how to approach it. Well, you are in luck. Here are a few ways to save money when remodeling a home and also how to hire the best contractor for your project.

 

Whether your are remodeling just your kitchen or living room these tips will help you save money and still get the new look that you wanted for home.

 1Do it yourself. 

Do it yourself projects have become very popular among home owners and various other categories. These Do it yourself projects will help you save money since you don’t require a contractor nor a handyman to help you remodel your home. Stores like Home Depot are great places to get everything you need for your DIY projects. You can find many tutorials online that will guide you step by step how to remodel your kitchen, bathroom, living room, even your patio. For alternatives you can go to the recycling center and look for things that are useful for your project.

2. Do some of the Demolition yourself.

If you are going to knock down a wall then you can go ahead and do it yourself as long as you know what you are doing and you are doing with caution. You can also partner with a contractor. The contractor can give you the do it yourselves skills that you need to remodel your home without the need to spend thousands of dollars.

3. Give hybrid materials a try.

The materials that you might be going for to remodel your house can make the cost of your project higher than inspected. Look for materials that are look-alikes of the material that you want. These materials have the same qualities and properties as the original material but cost less.

4. Wait for the right time of the year.

Don’t hire a contractor when its their prime time season. During the high of summer and Christmas is when suppliers are busy and delivery of materials take longer. You want to look for contractor when business is slow.

 


  • When you’re moving, make sure your tool box is the last thing you pack, so it can be the first thing off the truck when you arrive.
  • Save money when buying a home with a strong buying position: loan pre-approval, all cash offer, or no current home-sale contingencies will make the process faster.
  • Selling your home?  Don’t wait for the buyer to ask you to make repairs.  Do a pre-listing home inspection and make needed repairs to save time and money.
  • When selling your home, give the driveway and walkways a good cleaning, for a more appealing look.
  • A home showing may be on short notice.  Keep your yard mowed and flower beds groomed so you can make a good impression.
  • Use credit score monitoring or a least check your credit once a year to avoid unexpected surprises when buying a new home.

 


Here’s how to get you started on becoming a smart home buyer and not end up losing more than what you pay for.

Homeowners Insurance

The following four tips on buying homeowners insurance will get you to the right path on making good decisions when buying a home.

1). Know what’s out there. Get online and start looking through some insurance companies. Compare coverage, prices, and customer reviews. Look for the best coverage that fits your needs and has a reasonable price. Shop for value.

2).Escrow your insurance payments with your mortgage payments. Lenders prefer this option because it lets them know your insurance premiums are being paid, and their investment is well protected. Bring information about the insurance policy you have chosen and the money to cover the first year’s premium.

3).Get the right coverage. When buying homeowners insurance the most important thing to keep in mind is that you get the right level of coverage for you. Don’t pay for more coverage than you actually need.

4). Get to know your policy. Understanding your policy is very important. It will proved useful when your buying homeowner insurance and getting the right policy level.

Below are a few common terms that are useful to know and understand.

Deductible – This refers to the amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in; the higher the deductible, the lower the annual premium.

Liability Coverage – This is coverage that will pay medical or legal bills if someone is hurt on your property, usually due to negligence.

Personal Property – Sometimes called the contents of your home, this is tangible property such as furniture, electronics and clothing.

Premium –  This is the price you pay for insurance, usually annually or monthly.

Replacement Cost – This is the kind of insurance that pays the full cost of replacing your dwelling or personal property, up to a maximum dollar amount. Most standard policies offer replacement cost, but you want to be sure the maximum amount is high enough.

Actual Cash Value – This type of policy gives you the current cash value (with depreciation) for personal property or your dwelling. It’s possible to have actual cash value dwelling coverage (as with an HO-8 policy), but to get replacement cost coverage for your contents.

Sub-Limits – Homeowners insurance policies will include limits, but they’ll typically also have sub-limits. For instance, the sub-limit on personal property for a $500,000 policy would typically be $250,000, or 50 percent of dwelling coverage.

Riders – These are policies you can include on your overall insurance policy to cover specific items. For instance, expensive antiques, jewelry and artworks are often covered under their own rider because they’re too valuable to be covered as regular personal property. Some HO-8 policyholders also may get additional riders for things like heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, which are part of the home and expensive to replace.

Be sure to ask questions to ensure you have the right amount of coverage at the right price!


Many potential home buyers and sellers have been holding off getting into the housing market.  But now could be the right time to get off the sidelines and into the game.  Here’s why:

1. Prices continue to recover.  A major real estate data provider recently reported 28 months in a row of year-over-year gains in home prices nationally.  That should alleviate buyers’ worries about prices going in the other direction.

2. Homes are still very affordable.  Freddie Mac, one of the government sponsored enterprises that stands behind a majority of mortgages, says that the monthly mortgage payment-to-rent ratio is close to the lowest it’s been in more than 35 years.  That means homes remain very affordable.

3. Rents keep rising.  A major real estate analysis firm reports that because “rental demand is rising while supply is dwindling…rent prices will continue to climb.”  This makes home buying a very smart idea for renters.

4. There are more choices for buyers and more buyers for sellers.  As more sellers put their homes on the market, buyers get more options.  sellers benefit too as more available choices bring more interested buyers.

5.  Mortgage rates are near historical lows.  But buyers should note that rates won’t stay low forever.

6.  You need less down payment than you may realize.  Freddie Mac wants potential buyers to know that down payment requirements are not as high as they may think.  In fact, more than one in five borrowers who took out conventional mortgages this year put down 10% or less.

7. More people are qualifying for mortgages.  A recent report from industry analysts noted ” a slow, steady easing in credit standards.”

8.  A home is still a very smart investment.  Billionaire money manager John Paulson said in an interview: “I still think, from an individual perspective, the best deal investment you can make is to buy  a primary residence that your’re the owner-occupier of.  Today financing costs are  extraordinarily low…and today the cost of owning is somewhat less than the cost of renting.  And if you rent, the rent goes up every year.  But if you buy a 30-year mortgage the cost is fixed.”

 

Author: Guild Mortgage Company Media Center 2014

 


Before moving in it would be beneficial to get a home inspection.  A home inspection will  inform the buyer of the current condition of the property, reducing risk on their investment.   Second, a home inspection will save money in the long run.  Third, it can also help the buyer negotiate the terms of the sales contract.

Generally, a buyer has 7-10 days to get a a property inspection.  If the inspector discovers the property has some major defects, the buyer can negotiate the terms of the contract  or cancel it.  They can ask the seller to repair the items.  The seller may repair all the items or some of them, or may not repair any items.   It is also possible to negotiate a lowered purchase price.  

It’s important that the buyer  be there for their property inspection.  They can follow the inspector through the process, and jot down questions or notes to ask the inspector after it’s completed, and they will also learn more about the location and condition of the main systems of the house.   However, allow the inspector enough space to complete their inspection in a timely manner.  Usually most general home inspections take 3-4 hours.  The inspection usually costs between $250-$400. It’s well worth it to know if there are major repairs needed that could cost thousands of dollars to repair.

A home inspection will assist buyer:

Reducing risk on investment, by providing a report on the current condition of the home

Saving the buyer money in repairs

Using the inspection report to help buyer negotiate the terms of the sales contract

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

A Pre- Sale Inspection will help shorten the sale of a home and make the process smoother.

The inspection allows the seller to  repair issues related to the property that could make the home sale lag, and  lead to problems in the selling process.

The pre-sale inspection takes about 3 hours average. and costs from $200-$700.00 .   It  includes noting the condition of the main systems such as the plumbing, heating, and air conditioning.  The main appliances are also checked such as the garbage disposal, and dishwasher.   The inspector will examine the structural foundation, roof, basement and attic.  Also the exterior  like the porch, steps, and walkways are included.  If  there is a structural  defect or a an appliance or system that is inoperable it will be noted on the report with photos .  The inspector can explain to the seller how to repair an issue,  however he/she  may recommend that the seller contact a professional who specializes in a specific trade.

 

The Seller may decide not to repair every issue found in the inspection.  They can  choose to  disclose the defects to the buyers and point out that the asking price has been adjusted to reflect the cost of repairs.  This usually shortens  the negotiation time.    Furthermore, the  inspection will satisfy full disclosure real estate laws  by focusing on the condition of the property, and  is  less likely to miss a defect which they could be held liable.

 

In summary, an inspection will speed up the sale, and protect the seller from being liable, resulting in the likelihood of a sale.

Phone Us

  • Office:(323) 261-1222
  • Cell Phone:(323)-253-8338

It’s the day of your home inspection!  Here a some  home inspection tips to get the most benefit from the inspection.

  • Make sure there is proper access to the property. The seller should have all doors unlocked  and clear any debris from pathways.  Any pets should be temporarily relocated away from visitors.  Seller should remove all storage away from the foundation and walls so these areas  can be properly inspected.
  • All utilities should be turned on like electricity, gas and water so the inspector can check to see if these systems are working properly.
  • Attend your home inspection.  This is a good opportunity to learn about the systems, location of important shut off valves, and how to maintain equipment.  Ask questions, and take a notebook to jot down notes.  This will help you discuss the findings with your realtor.  
  • Ask when and how your report will be delivered.  There may be a deadline that needs to be met.
  • Contact a professional if warranted, and clear up  concerns you have about a specific area.  
  • An inspection usually takes 2-3 hours minimum so make a block of time to be available.  
  • Ask the Inspector about their qualifications.  Make sure they have training and experience to conduct a thorough home inspection.

Following these home inspection tips for buyers will help your home purchase go smoother.

 


 

Being energy efficient in your home can not only  help you cut your energy use in half and help you save money, but it can also help to reduce our carbon footprint on our planet.

Here are some Home Energy Saving Tips:

1. Turn down the water heater pilot.  If you need help, call the Gas Company and they will adjust it  to the  appropriate setting.  Also wrap it in a water heater insulation blanket.  This can reduce heat loss by 24-45 percent.  “If  half of US households did so, it would prevent 239 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.” says Green American

2.  Take shorter showers.  Try to limit  showers to 5 minutes.  Install low-flow shower heads.  One 5-minute shower per day will use only 12 gallons per day versus a conventional head that uses 15-40 gallons per day.

3.  Lower thermostat to 59 degrees at night.  Use extra blankets or keep a robe near your bed if you need to use the bathroom or get a drink of water.

4.  Use cold water to wash clothes. This also saves on wear and tear.  Air dry clothes if possible.  Use an energy efficient washer and dryer, and use the washer and dryer in off peak times.  This can reduce the amount of dirty          coal plants.

5.  Turn off the lights.  Shut off the lights when you leave a room.  It also helps tremendously by installing energy efficient light bulbs.  Put porch lights or outdoor lights on a timer., and use solar lights on pathways.

6.  Unplug appliances that you’re not using like the toaster or coffee maker.  Many appliances will use  power even when they’re turned off.

7. Install Ceiling fans in the rooms used the most.  Use a ceiling fan instead of an air conditioner to cool your home as much as possible.

8. Install ultra-low flush toilets in your bathrooms.    Four flushes per day will use only 6 gallons of water compared to a conventional toilet that uses 14-28 gallons per day.

9. Use an energy efficient model refrigerator. Secondly, clean the coils yearly to keep it running efficiently.  Eliminate a 2nd refrigerator if you have one.

10. If you hand wash dishes fill the sink up with warm – hot soapy water, and use it to wash all the dishes then rinse in  cold water.

 

Putting these home energy saving tips into use  will definitely cut down on your energy usage and put some green in your pocket.

Sources: California Water Conservation, Green American


Need a certified home inspector in Lynwood? Here are things you need to look for:

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  • Are they Certified?
  • Are they a member of a recognized association.
  • Do they have Errors and Omissions  Insurance?
  • What type of experience do they have?  They should have related experience such as a General Contractor,   Realtor or Structural Engineer.
  • Are they a local inspection company.  The inspector should be up to date on the laws, and codes of their state.
  • They should ONLY do inspections so you get an unbiased opinion.
  • What is their availability for scheduling the inspection?
  • How long will the inspection be?
  • What’s included in the inspection?
  • What is included in the report?  color photos,  a narrative or check list report, a summary of marginal or defective issues of the property.
  • How soon the report can be completed and delivered to you.
  • What is the cost?

This should be helpful  in  finding a Certified Home Inspector in Lynwood.