Tag Archive: United States


            California….that’s the answer, specifically to sunny Orange County. Would you like to know the why, where when and how of this question/answer?

Scenario #1, a couple from Wisconsin interested in taking advantage of the currently deflated value of the Orange county home market, who would like a home with an ocean view. This would be a second/vacation home and possibly a rental property as well. They are intimately aware of the potential for property values to increase at a reasonable pace (unlike the prior bubble, this time property values will increase at a moderate pace) and see great value in purchasing a dream home at a bargain price. I informed them that a second home purchase would require more than a 25% down payment from a lender, not a problem was her response! The couple will be in town next week to look at condominiums along the coast, with an ocean view. Some of which can be purchased for a mere half million dollars! This may sound high, keep in mind 4 years ago these properties were going for ¾ of a million and beyond! The most important factor when determining a home price is location, and locations like this are few and far between!

 Scenario#2 a couple from Boston looking for an incoming producing property and capable of paying all cash for the home. They would like a fixer, preferably an reo or short sale as that is where the best deals are to be had. They have family in Irvine, and would like to possibly move down here sometime in the future. In the mean time the will be renovating the home they chose, and then renting it out for an 8-10% return on investment annually! Jumbo Cd’s, or certificate of deposits for 5 years and 100k minimum investment yield approximately 2.55%, a 10% return on investment is a considerably higher yield!

 Both of these scenarios are clients I am actively working with to help fulfill their financial goals. Opportunities abound in this economy; more millionaires were made in the great depression than in any other era of history (J Paul Getty, Howard Hughes, Gene Autry). According to N.A.R  an astounding 32% of all  home purchases in the United States are ALL CASH! Have I piqued your interest?

Thinking of buying a home, selling a home or possibly relocating? Give me a call, Carlos J. Amador @ (562) 833-4292.

To Buy or Not to Buy

Image via Wikipedia

 

In these uncertain times, people more than ever need to know which housing strategy makes more financial sense, buying or renting. Two brothers in Virginia have a website that can help answer that question.

     

Housing isn’t the investment it used to be. Or is it?

Certainly if you bought at the peak of the housing boom — say, 2004 or 2005 — it isn’t. But most people who took the plunge more recently think it is.

In fact, 85% of a sample of folks who bought houses in the 12-month period from July 2009 to June 2010 view their homes as sound financial investments, according to a recent National Assn. of Realtors survey.

Nearly half the 8,500 buyers and sellers polled consider their homes a better investment than stocks, while 3 in 10 say housing is at least on par with stocks. And the findings are roughly the same across all subcategories: new home or existing, first-time buyer or repeat offender, single or married, male or female.
But participants in NAR’s annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers were also asked how long they expect to stay in their homes, and their answers indicate that most people have come to the realization that housing as a quick dash to riches is a thing of the past.

The median expected length of residence is 10 years, with repeat buyers planning to remain a median of 15 years.

But is even a decade long enough at today’s appreciation rates for an investment in housing to turn a profit? Or put another way, which makes more financial sense nowadays, buying or renting?

To be sure, homeownership isn’t for everyone. Some people simply can’t afford it, and others simply aren’t cut out for it.

Then there are those who simply enjoy their renter lifestyle. They don’t have to mow the grass or rake the leaves. When something breaks, all they have to do is call the landlord. And, if they haven’t signed a lease, they can pick up and move with proper notice.

Of course, renters give up a lot too. They can’t make their home truly their own because they usually aren’t permitted to make improvements or even paint the walls any color they choose — only neutrals, please.

And they don’t have much of a say when it comes to how their communities are run.

Despite those factors, though, the decision to buy or rent has been pretty much a monetary one.

So forget for a moment all that intrinsic stuff about being able to turn a house into a home, giving your kids their own backyard in which to play and living where the schools are better. If a family has enough dough salted away to cover a down payment and closing costs, if it can qualify for a mortgage and if it can afford the monthly payments, property taxes and insurance, it often buys.

Nowadays, however, many people are thinking twice about homeownership. Otherwise, they would be out there bargain-hunting, snapping up prized houses at rock-bottom prices and record-low mortgage rates, and laughing all the way to the Promised Land.

More than ever, people need to know what makes more financial sense, buying or renting.

That’s a problem Steve Rossi faced in the mid-1980s. Fresh out of college, he was told that it would be foolish to buy. But when he looked into the pros and cons of ownership versus renting, “all I got was bits and pieces,” he recalls. “Nobody really had the whole picture.”

So Rossi turned to his older brother, John, a computer specialist, and together they wrote a program that answered Steve’s question: After six years as an owner, he would turn a profit.

“How long you stay determines whether or not ownership will be profitable,” Steve says. “If you buy today and sell tomorrow, you are going to lose money. But the longer you live there, the more it pays to buy.”

Steve still lives in the Annandale, Va., house he bought 26 years ago. By day, he and John work for Uncle Sam. By night, the brothers have turned Steve’s dilemma nearly three decades ago into a business telling anyone who asks how long it will take his or her house to make money.

Years ago, most people came to the Rossi brothers through the Learning Annex, a Washington-area open university where they taught the class To Buy or Not to Buy — That Is the Question. But now, thanks to the Internet, their reach is much wider. In fact, it doesn’t matter where you live. If you can answer some basic questions at their site — http://www.tobuy.webs.com — and have $10 to spare, they can tell you when you will reach the break-even point.

When they first started, the brothers needed answers to 17 questions, things such as how much you expect to spend on utilities, insurance and maintenance, and where would you put the money if you don’t invest in a house. Now, they’ve pared their list of questions to 13.

The simplified “Buy or Not Buy” questionnaire doesn’t ask what you spend on utilities — the Rossis’ computer program adjusts for that automatically — but it still wants to know what you think you would be earning if you invested in something other than real estate. After all, Steve says, “money spent is money not being invested, so you have to adjust accordingly.”

Don’t worry if you can’t answer all the questions. The questionnaire has all kinds of prompts along the way, such as “3% is reasonable” when figuring the escalation rate of your utilities, maintenance and insurance. Even if some questions are left blank, the Rossi brothers have done so many of these analyses that they can answer them accurately for you, and all the information you provide is strictly confidential.

There are other programs that claim to do the same thing as the Rossis’. But most of those are written for or by real estate professionals who would like to sell you a house. The Rossi brothers, on the other hand, are independent and have nothing to gain whether you buy or not. Indeed, if there is room for bias in their program, it appears to be in favor of waiting.

Buying your first home? Selling your house? Looking to relocate? Give me a call,   Carlos J. Amador at (562) 833-4292 or visit my website http://www.carlosjamador.com. For a no obligation free consultation. Free first time home buyer information for Fullerton, Orange County, and Los Angeles residents. Real Estate information for Fullerton, Orange County and Los Angeles residents. Home Sellers in Fullerton, Orange County, and Los Angeles.

Source : Los Angeles Times

Conforming 1and FHA Loans
30-Year Fixed 4.625% 4.812%
30-Year Fixed FHA 4.625% 5.488%
15-Year Fixed 4.000% 4.321%
5-Year ARM 3.125% 3.214%
5-Year ARM FHA 2.875% 3.000%
Larger Loan Amounts in Eligible Areas – Conforming and FHA.1
30-Year Fixed 4.750% 4.886%
30-Year Fixed FHA 4.750% 5.568%
5-Year ARM 3.375% 3.255%
Jumbo1 Loans – Amounts that exceed conforming loan limits1
30-Year Fixed 4.875% 5.012%
5-Year ARM 3.750% 3.388%

Buying your first home? Selling your house? Looking to relocate? Give me a call,        Carlos J. Amador at (714) 626-8880 ext 117 or visit my website http://www.carlosjamador.com. For a no obligation free consultation. Free first time home buyer information for Fullerton, Orange County, and Los Angeles residents. Real Estate information for Fullerton, Orange County and Los Angeles residents. Home Sellers in Fullerton, Orange County, and Los Angeles.

Source: Wells Fargo

Photo of a Neo Geo AES video game console

Image via Wikipedia

Tuesday

11/9
8:00 PM Electric Approach with Tess and Carson Henley Music Slidebar
8:00 PM The Ramon Banda Trio Music Steamers
9:00 PM 80’s Night! I love the 80’s Music Slidebar

Wednesday

11/10
8:00 PM Assuming We Survive and Throwing Seven Music Slidebar
8:00 PM CSUF Jazz – 5 Bands Music Steamers
9:00 PM 80’s Night Music Bourbon Street

Thursday

11/11
7:00 PM Open Mic, Music/Jam Session Comedy Max Bloom’s Cafe Noir
8:00 PM The B Foundation, Dose of Adolesence and more.. Music Slidebar
8:00 PM The Tony Guererro Quintet w/ Llew Mathews Music Steamers
9:00 PM Ladies Night Happy Hour   Commonwealth Lounge
10:00 PM 80’s Enough Music Back Alley Bar
10:00 PM Ladies Night   Bourbon Street

Friday

11/12
8:00 PM Lifeline, Kisses for Kings, Stars of Seraphim and Wake The Street Music Slidebar
8:30 PM Gina Saputo Music Steamers
9:00 PM DJ Josh One Music Commonwealth Lounge
10:00 PM Club Encore Music Cantina Lounge
11:00 PM Improv Smimprov Theater Maverick Theater

Saturday

11/13
8:00 PM Larry and His Flask, Angel City Outcasts and Craic Hause Music Slidebar
10:00 PM The Groove Line Music The Continental Room
10:00 PM TRIIO w/ CSG, DJ ADJUST of Mix Armada Music Cantina Lounge
10:00 PM DJ Ruffnek Music Bourbon Street
11:00 PM Improv Shmimprov Theater Maverick Theater

Sunday

11/14
1:00 PM Dixieland Jazz (Afternoon Shows) Music Steamers
8:00 PM Authority Zero with Neo Geo and Phantom Music Slidebar
8:00 PM OC Comedy Stop Comedy Cantina Lounge
8:00 PM Kevin Kanner’s Jazz Jam Music Steamers

Monday

11/15
5:00 PM Locals Night Music Commonwealth Lounge
8:00 PM Big Band Mondays Music Steamers
9:00 PM Rockstar Karaoke Music Slidebar
9:00 PM Karaoke Night Music Bourbon Street
10:00 PM Karaoke Mondays Comedy Cantina Lounge

Tuesday

11/16
9:00 PM 80’s Night! I love the 80’s Music Slidebar

Wednesday

11/17
9:00 PM 80’s Night Music Bourbon Street

Thursday

11/18
7:00 PM Open Mic, Music/Jam Session Comedy Max Bloom’s Cafe Noir
9:00 PM Ladies Night Happy Hour   Commonwealth Lounge
10:00 PM 80’s Enough Music Back Alley Bar
10:00 PM Ladies Night   Bourbon Street

Reproduced Courtesy of The Fullertonian…. Thanks Fullertonian!

An icon from the Crystal icon theme.

Image via Wikipedia

What is a HUD Home?

A HUD home is a 1-to-4 unit residential property acquired by HUD as a result of a foreclosure action on an FHA-insured mortgage. HUD becomes the property owner and offers it for sale to recover the loss on the foreclosure claim.

The following information is provided to as an introduction to the process through which HUD homes can be purchased. You can either scroll down the page, or access specific topics through the following topic menu. Additional links provided in the menu to the right provide access to FHA program and policy information for homeowners, homebuyers, and members of the mortgage lending and real estate industries.

Who Can Buy a HUD Home?

Almost anyone! If you have the cash or can qualify for a loan (subject to certain restrictions) you may buy a HUD Home. HUD Homes are initially offered to owner-occupant purchasers (people who are buying the home as their primary residence). Following the priority period for owner occupants, unsold properties are available to all buyers, including investors.

 

Should I Get a Home Inspection?

HUD does not warrant the condition of its properties and will not pay for the correction of defects or repairs. Since the new owner will be responsible for making needed repairs, HUD strongly urges every potential homebuyer to get a professional inspection prior to submitting an offer to purchase.

If you are interested in acquiring a HUD Home that is in need of repair, you may be interested in applying for an FHA 203(k) Rehabilitation Loan. When a homebuyer wants to purchase a house in need of repair or modernization, the homebuyer usually has to obtain financing first to purchase the dwelling; additional financing to do the rehabilitation construction; and a permanent mortgage when the work is completed to pay off the interim loans with a permanent mortgage. Often the interim financing (the acquisition and construction loans) involves relatively high interest rates and short amortization periods. The Section 203(k) program was designed to address this situation. The borrower can get just one mortgage loan, at a long-term fixed (or adjustable) rate, to finance both the acquisition and the rehabilitation of the property. Click here for more information about FHA’s 203(k) Rehabilitation Loan Program.

What About Financing?

HUD does not provide direct financing to buyers of HUD Homes. Buyers must obtain financing through either their own cash reserves or a mortgage lender. If you have the necessary available cash or can qualify for a loan (subject to certain restrictions) you may buy a HUD Home. While HUD does not provide direct financing for the purchase of a HUD Home, it may be possible for you to qualify for an FHA-insured mortgage to finance the purchase.

Does FHA Offer Any Special Discount Sales Programs?

FHA REO properties located in designated Revitalization Areas are available at a reduced sales price to law enforcement officers, teachers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, nonprofits and local governments. Read more about these Good Neighbor Initiatives.

Where Can I Learn About Available HUD Properties?

Any single family property acquired by HUD FHA will display a sign identifying who is managing the property before it is listed for sale. During this time the property is appraised, title issues are resolved, if necessary, and a determination is made about the property’s eligibility for HUD’s discount sales programs. Property listings are posted on HUD Home Store. For more information, contact the Management and Marketing Contractor serving your area. 

Buying your first home? Selling your house? Looking to relocate? Give me a call, Carlos J. Amador at (714) 626-8880 ext 117 or visit my website  www.carlosjamador.com. For a no obligation free consultation. Free first time home buyer information for Fullerton, Orange County, and Los Angeles residents. Real Estate information for Fullerton, Orange County and Los Angeles residents. Home Sellers in Fullerton, Orange County, and Los Angeles.

Source: HUD.GOV

Interior view of Terminal 4

Image via Wikipedia

Beginning this week, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are trying to sell off 150,000 foreclosed homes by offering low down payments, no requirement for mortgage insurance, and up to $30,000 added to the mortgage for renovations. In addition, the real estate practitioner selling the property gets a $1,500 bonus.

In some neighborhoods, these properties undercut the average listing by $100,000.

Fannie and Freddie already have repaired the biggest problems with the property including roofs, plumbing, and electrical work.

Buyers who plan to live in the properties get a 15-day chance to view the homes before investors can purchase them. Investors with cash will likely snap up any properties remaining at the end of the grace period.

“Our goal is to recover as much as we can to offset our loss and not to be low balling properties just to move them,” says a Freddie Mac spokesperson. “We absolutely have no motivation to be leading a downward spiral in home prices.”

Interested in receiving more information on this article? Thinking about selling your house? Buying your first home? Give me a call, Carlos J. Amador at (714) 626-8880 ext 117 or visit my website at http://www.yourfullertonhome.com . For a no obligation free consultation.  

Free first time home buyer information for Fullerton, Orange County, and Los Angeles residents. Real Estate information for Fullerton, Orange County and Los Angeles residents.  

Source: Smart Money, Anna Maria Andriotis (09/28/2010)

Elephant Packing House, Fullerton, California

Image via Wikipedia

 Forgetting about the hidden costs

You grossly underestimated what you can afford to pay each month. You factored in the purchase price of the home but didn’t consider the cost of taxes, insurance, utilities, and fees. There are several hidden costs that first-time home buyers neglect to prepare for. They can be anything from the closing costs to appraisal fees, escrow fees, homeowner’s insurance fees, property taxes, and even moving costs. Another factor is the cost of repairs and maintenance. “When you’re renting and the furnace goes out, what do you do? You call the landlord,” says Tom Vanderwell, mortgage officer for Fifth Third Bank in Michigan. “When you own a house, what do you do? You have to fix it yourself.” You may find there are numerous “nickel and dime” things to account for that could add up to a significant chunk of money over time. 

5. Not using professional help

Sure, it’s possible to go out and buy a home without the aid of a professional real estate agent. But think about how much time and stress a good agent can save you. For starters, Realtors have access to all the homes on the market through the multiple listing service, or MLS, plus all the ones that are under contract and have been sold. A specialist has time to sift through all of these listings, says Boss, and make the appointments to show you the houses, create comparative market analyses to determine proper pricing, and meet with necessary inspectors. Real estate agents also can help buyers traverse a taxing, 70-page legal contract. “I would want someone who is going to look out for my interests first and foremost,” says Boss. “Someone who knows the contracts, who has experience negotiating, and who can walk me through the entire process smoothly—step by step—and make sure I get the house that’s right for me.”

6. Picking your real estate agent and lender blindly

First-time home buyers, Boss says, are generally more time-consuming than the average buyer and require more attention. A good real estate agent will be friendly and accommodating, show only homes that fit your parameters, and help you with strategies during the bidding process—but never pressure you into something you’re not comfortable with. “It’s important that the Realtor be experienced with first-time buyers, understand their wants and needs, and be able to connect with them well,” says Boss.

 Similarly, the buyers should feel at ease with and have complete confidence in their mortgage lender, and they should fully discuss and understand their financing options with that lender. “Don’t apologize for asking questions,” says Vanderwell, who stresses the importance of knowing what you’re getting into. “There’s a pretty substantial chunk of people who are in really rough straits right now and would not have been had they done their homework.” 

7. Thinking you’ll get everything on your “wish list”

Another mistake people make is being too close-minded while searching for their home, says Boss. He suggests sitting down with your real estate broker before searching for a home and creating a need/want list. Some of the items you might want to include as “must haves” or deal breakers are the towns you’d want to live in, square footage, or accessibility to transportation. The second part of the list would be things you don’t necessarily need but wish to have, such as a garage, new kitchen appliances, or an extra room for an office. “As you search for your home, you may realize there are certain parameters you really want or don’t want,” says Boss. “Understand that a certain amount of flexibility is essential.” Your aim is to be able to afford everything you need—as well as some items you want—all while staying within a long-term budget.  Check back tomorrow for part 3!

Interested in receiving more information on this article. Thinking about  selling your house? Buying your first home? Give me a call,  Carlos J. Amador at (714) 626-8880 ext 117 or visit my website at www.yourfullertonhome.com  . For a no obligation free consultation.

Free first time home buyer information for Fullerton, Orange County, and Los Angeles residents. Real Estate information for Fullerton, Orange County and Los Angeles residents.

Official seal of Anaheim Island, Orange County...

Image via Wikipedia

 Time magazine is being overly pessimistic in its recent cover piece that called into question the benefits of homeownership. In fact, now is a great time to buy. And, what’s more, tomorrow will be a great time to own, because the fundamental strength of homeownership hasn’t changed.

Why is now a great time to buy? Here are 10 reasons:

1. You can get a good deal. Prices are down 30 percent on average. They’re at a level that makes sense for people’s income.
2. Mortgages are cheap. At 4.3 percent on average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, your costs to own are down by a fifth from two years ago.
3. You can save on taxes. When you add up the deductions for mortgage interest and others, the cost of owning can drop below renting for a comparable place.
4. It’ll be yours. The one benefit to owning that never changes is that you can paint your walls orange if you want (generally speaking; there might be some community restrictions). How many landlords will let you do that?
5. You can get a better home. In some markets, it’s simply the case that the nicest places are for-sale homes and condos.
6. It offers some inflation protection. Historically, appreciation over time outpaces inflation.
7. It’s risk capital. If the economy picks up, you stand to benefit from that, even if you’re goal is just to have a nice place to live.
8. It’s forced savings. A part of your payment each month goes to equity.
9. There is a lot to choose from. There are some 4 million homes available today, about a year’s supply. Now’s the time to find something you like and get it.
10. Sooner or later the market will clear. The U.S. is expected to grow by another 100 million people in 40 years. They have to live somewhere. Demand will eventually outpace supply.

Source: Wall Street Journal, Brett Arends (9/16/10)

 

Interested in receiving more information on this article, or possibly purchasing or selling your home? Give me a call,  Carlos J. Amador at (714) 626-8880 ext 117 or visit my website at www.yourfullertonhome.com  . For a no obligation free consultation.

Free first time home buyer information for Fullerton, Orange County, and Los Angeles residents. Real Estate information for Fullerton, Orange County and Los Angeles residents.