Buying a House in 2019: Things You Need to Know

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Buying a house is a minefield full of “I didn’t know thats.” From choosing the right home to qualifying for the best mortgage, you want to minimize the things you don’t know.

So let’s lower your “didn’t-know” ratio. With a shifting lending landscape, unpredictable interest rates and down payment priorities based on your local market, here’s what you’ll need to know about buying a home this year.

 

 

What’s the first step to buying a house?

With acute shortages of homes for sale in so many markets throughout the nation, getting a pre-approval for a home loan is more important than ever. Cash buyers used to give sellers confidence that a deal would close quickly, but fewer cash buyers are shopping right now. And when houses weren’t in such short supply, buyers didn’t face the pressures of intense seller’s markets.

With a lender lined up and a pre-approval letter in your pocket, sellers know you’re serious. With a pre-approval, sellers feel comfortable that, ‘Hey, this guy is a legit person who is going to buy and close.’ Prospective buyers need to immediately start with the lender. See what you can afford and see what your hurdles are going to be. Shopping for homes before gaining a loan pre-approval can be a big home buyer mistake. Some buyers don’t realize how many underwriting deal breakers that can hijack — or significantly delay — getting a mortgage there are.

Those home loan approval pitfalls can include issues with student loans, significant recent cash deposits, and the manner in which self-employed income is reported.

 

How much house can I afford?

‘How much house can I afford?’ is the first-time home buyer question. We offer a rule-of-thumb to help.

Instead of telling them about debt-to-income ratios, first-time buyers better consider three times their income as a starting point. So, if you and your spouse have a combined annual income of $110,000, most likely $330,000 will be your price range, plus or minus a couple of percent. But rather than guessing, you can simply take the first step — talking to a lender.

 

What’s up with interest rates?

Another change impacting the real estate market is interest rate volatility. Many experts predicted rates to steadily rise throughout 2019, yet so far 30-year mortgage rates aren’t far from where they were a year ago. At this point, it’s not clear where they’re headed over the next 12 months.

In fact, more than a third of Americans say they plan to buy within the next five years — and nearly one-fourth of those prospective buyers say they’ll buy in the next 12 months, according to NerdWallet’s 2019 Home Buyer Report.

 

What credit score do I need?

A credit score of 620 is typically the minimum that mortgage lenders are looking for, though some lenders will go as low as 580 or below.

What we see is that average credits are usually 620 to 680, very good credits are 680 to 740, and if you’re over 740, you’re spotless.

 

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How much do I need to put down on a house?

People still think they need 20% down. Three percent down, 5% down are the ways people are buying homes. Ten percent down is the average in the nation right now. You don’t need 20% down to buy a home. It’s the biggest myth out there.

20% down — especially in a tight market — is going to come into play. If somebody else has 10% and you’ve got 20, that’s going to be a factor. Listing agents will usually advise sellers to go with the buyer who has the most cash on the table.

 

How long does it take to buy from start to finish?

You know what’s changed in the last three years in mortgages? Speed to closing is more important now than ever.

Application-to-closing times are shrinking. For the 12-month period ending in January 2019, average closing times for purchase and refinance loans combined were about 43 days, according to Ellie Mae, a mortgage industry technology provider.

For refi loans alone, the average was about 40 days. For the same period in 2015-2016, the averages were 46 days for all loans and 47 for refis.

 

The best real estate deals allow everyone to shake hands and walk away from the table feeling like a winner. And in what looks to be another year of uncertainty, disappointment and just plain incivility, spreading a little extra goodwill during the negotiations and at the closing table seems like a very good idea indeed.

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Closing Costs: Buying or Refinancing a Home

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This is a detailed summary of costs you may have to pay when you buy or refinance your home. They are listed in the order that they should appear on a Good Faith Estimate you obtain from a mortgage lender. There are two broad categories of closing costs. Non-recurring closing costs are items that are paid once and you never pay again. Recurring closing costs are items you pay time and again over the course of home ownership, such as property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. Some of the items that appear here do not traditionally appear on a lender’s Good Faith Estimate and lenders are not required to show all of these items.

Non-Recurring Closing Costs Associated with the Lender.

Loan Origination Fee – The loan origination fee is often referred to as points. One point is equal to one percent of the mortgage loan. As a rule, if you are willing to pay more in points, you will get a lower interest rate. On a VA or FHA loan, the loan origination fee is one point. Any additional points are called discount points.

Loan Discount – On a government loan, the loan origination fee is normally listed as one point or one percent of the loan. Any points in addition to the loan origination fee are called discount points. On a conventional loan, discount points are usually lumped in with the loan origination fee.

Appraisal Fee – Since your property serves as collateral for the mortgage, lenders want to be reasonably certain of the value and they require an appraisal. The appraisal looks to determine if the price you are paying for the home is justified by recent sales of comparable properties. The appraisal fee varies, depending on the value of the home and the difficulty involved in justifying value. Unique and more expensive homes usually have a higher appraisal fee. Appraisal fees on VA loans are higher than on conventional loans.

Credit Report – As part of the underwriting review, your mortgage lender will want to review your credit history. The cost of running the credit report can vary and is included in closing costs.

Lender’s Inspection Fee – You normally find this fee on new construction and is associated with what is called a 442 Inspection. Since the property is not finished when the initial appraisal is done, the 442 Inspection is done when the building is completed and verifies that construction is complete with carpeting and flooring installed.

Mortgage Broker Fee – About seventy percent of loans are originated through mortgage brokers and they will sometimes list your points in this area instead of the Loan Origination Fee category. They may also add any broker processing fees in this area so you clearly understand how much is being charged by the wholesale lender and how much is being charged by the broker. Wholesale lenders offer lower costs/rates to mortgage brokers than you can obtain directly, so you are not paying extra by going through a mortgage broker.

Tax Service Fee – During the life of your loan you will be making property tax payments, either on your own or through your impound account with the lender. Since property tax liens can sometimes take precedence over a first mortgage, it is in your lender’s interest to pay an independent service to monitor property tax payments.

Flood Certification Fee – Your lender must determine whether or not your property is located in a federally designated flood zone. This is a fee usually charged by an independent service to make that determination.

Flood Monitoring – From time to time flood zones are re-mapped. Some lenders charge this fee to maintain monitoring on whether this re-mapping affects your property.

Other Lender Fees

We put these in a separate category because they vary so much from lender to lender and cannot be associated directly with a cost of the loan. These fees generate income for the lenders and are used to offset the fixed costs of loan origination. The Processing Fee mentioned above can also fall into this category, but since it is listed higher on the Good Faith Estimate Form we did not also include it here. You will normally find some combination of these fees on your Good Faith Estimate.

Document Preparation – Before computers made it fairly easy for lenders to draw their own loan documents, they used to hire specialized document preparation firms for this function. This was the fee charged by those companies. Nowadays, lenders draw their own documents but this fee is charged on almost all loans.

Underwriting Fee – Once again, it is difficult to determine the exact cost of underwriting a loan since the underwriter is usually a paid staff member.

Administration Fee – If an Administration Fee is charged, you will probably find there is no Underwriting Fee. This is not always the case.

Appraisal Review Fee – Even though you will probably not see this fee on your Good Faith Estimate, it is charged occasionally. Some lenders routinely review appraisals as a quality control procedure, especially on higher valued properties.

Warehousing Fee – This is rarely charged and begins to border on the ridiculous. However, some lenders have a warehouse line of credit and add this as a charge to the borrower.

Items Required to be Paid in Advance

Pre-paid Interest – Mortgage loans are usually due on the first of each month. Since loans can close on any day, a certain amount of interest must be paid at closing to get the interest paid up to the first. For example, if you close on the twentieth, you will pay ten days of pre-paid interest.

Homeowner’s Insurance – This is the insurance you pay to cover possible damages to your home and other items. If you buy a home, you will normally pay the first year’s insurance when you close the transaction. If you are buying a condominium, your Homeowners’ Association Fees normally cover this insurance.

VA Funding Fee – On VA loans, the Veterans Administration charges a fee for guaranteeing your loan. The fee will be a percentage of the loan balance but the exact percentage will vary depending on whether you have used your VA eligibility in the past. Instead of actually paying this as an out-of-pocket expense, most veterans choose to finance it, so it gets added to the loan balance. This is why the loan balance on VA loans can be higher than the actual purchase amount.

Up Front Mortgage Insurance Premium (UFMIP) – This is charged on FHA purchases of single-family residences (SFR’s) or Planned Unit Developments (PUDs). Like the VA Funding Fee it is normally added to the balance of the loan. Unlike a VA loan, the homebuyer must also pay a monthly mortgage insurance fee, too. This is why many lenders do not recommend FHA loans if the homebuyer can qualify for a conventional loan. Condominium purchases do not require the UFMIP.

Mortgage Insurance – Though it is rare nowadays, some first-time homebuyer programs still require the first year mortgage insurance premium to be paid in advance. Most mortgage insurance (when required) is simply paid monthly along with your mortgage payment. Mortgage insurance covers the lender and covers a portion of the losses in those cases where borrowers default on their loans.

Reserves Deposited with Lender

If you make a minimum down payment, you may be required to deposit funds into an impound account. Funds in this account are your funds, and the lender uses them to make the payments on your homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, and mortgage insurance (whichever is applicable). Each month, in addition to your mortgage payment, you provide additional funds which are deposited into your impound account.

The lender’s goal is to always have sufficient funds to pay your bills as they come due. Sometimes impound accounts are not required, but borrowers request one voluntarily. A few lenders even offer to reduce your loan origination fee if you obtain an impound account. However, if you are disciplined about paying your bills and an impound account is not required, you can probably earn a better rate of return by putting the funds into a savings account. Impound accounts are sometimes referred to as escrow accounts.

Homeowners Insurance Impounds – your lender will divide your annual premium by twelve to come up with an estimated monthly amount for you to pay into your impound account. Since a lender is allowed to keep two months of reserves in your account, you will have to deposit two months into the impound account to start it up.

Property Tax Impounds – How much you will have to deposit towards taxes to start up your impound account varies according to when you close your real estate transaction. For example, you may close in November and property taxes are due in December. Your deposit would be higher than for someone closing in May.

Mortgage Insurance Impounds – When required, most lenders allow this to simply be paid monthly. However, you may be required to put two months’ worth of mortgage insurance as an initial deposit into your impound account.

Non-Recurring Closing Costs not associated with the Lender

Closing/Escrow/Settlement Fee – Methods of closing a real estate transaction vary from state to state, as do the fees.

Title Insurance – Title Insurance assures the homeowner that they have clear title to the property. The lender also requires it to insure that their new mortgage loan will be in first position. The costs vary depending on whether you are purchasing a home or refinancing.

Notary Fees – Most sets of loan documents have two or three forms that must be notarized. Usually your settlement or escrow agent will arrange for you to sign these forms at their office and will charge a notary fee.

Recording Fees – Certain documents get recorded with your local county recorder. Fees vary regionally.

Pest Inspection – This is also referred to as a Termite Inspection. This inspection tests not only for pest infestations, but also other items such as wood rot and water damage. If repairs are required, the amount to cover those repairs can vary. The seller will usually pay for the most serious repairs, but this is a negotiable item. Usually (not always) the pest inspection fee is paid by the seller of the home and is not normally reflected on the Good Faith Estimate.

Home Inspection – Since it is the homebuyer’s choice to obtain a home inspection or not, this cost is not usually reflected on a Good Faith Estimate. However, it is recommended. Keep in mind that the home inspector has a certain set of standards he uses when inspecting a home, and those standards may be higher than required by local building codes. An example is that an inspector may note there is no spark arrestor on a chimney but the local building code may not require it. This sometimes leads to conflicts between buyer and seller.

Home Warranty – This is also an optional item and not normally included on the Good Faith Estimate. A Home Warranty usually covers such items as the major appliances, should they break down within a specific time. Often this is paid by the seller.

Refinancing Associated Costs (but not charged by the new Lender)

Interest – When you close the transaction on your refinance, there will most likely be some outstanding interest due on the old loan. For example, if you close on August twentieth (and you made your last payment), you will have twenty days interest due on the old loan and ten days prepaid interest on the new loan. Your first payment on the new loan would not be until October 1st since you have already paid all of August’s interest when you closed the refinance transaction (since interest is paid in arrears, a September payment would have paid August’s interest, which has already been paid in closing).

Reconveyance Fee – This fee is charged by your existing lender when they “reconvey” their collateral interest in your property back to you through recording of a Reconveyance.

Demand Fee – Your existing lender may charge a fee for calculating payoff figures.

Sub-Escrow fee – Though it sounds like an escrow fee, this fee is actually charged by the Title Company. Assume it is an income-generating fee similar to some of the lender fees mentioned above.

Loan Tie-in Fee – Though it sounds like a lender fee, this cost is actually charged by the Escrow Company.

Homeowner’s Association Transfer Fee – If you are buying a condominium or a home with a Homeowner’s Association, the association often charges a fee to transfer all of their ownership documents to you.

Asking the Seller to Pay Closing Costs – Rules and Advice.

It has become common to ask the seller to pay some or all of the closing costs when you purchase a home. Essentially, this is financing your closing costs since you will probably pay a little bit more for the property than you would if you were paying your own costs.

Keep in mind a few simple rules. On conventional loans you can only ask the seller to pay non-recurring costs, not prepaid fees or items to be paid in advance. If you are putting ten percent down or more, the most the seller can contribute is six percent of the purchase price. If you are putting less down, the most the seller can contribute is three percent.

On VA loans, you can ask the seller to pay everything. This is called a “VA No-No”, meaning the buyer is making no down payment and paying no closing costs.

On FHA loans, the seller can pay almost any cost, but the buyer has to have a minimum three percent investment in the home/closing costs.

Most refinances include the closing costs and prepaids in the new loan amount, requiring little or no out-of-pocket expenses to close the deal.

If you didn’t get bored as you read through this, now you know everything (almost) about closing costs.

Title Insurance Requirements for Insuring Trusts

In today’s world of busy probate courts and exorbitant death taxes, the living trust has become a common manner of holding title to real property. The following may help you understand a few of the requirements of the title insurance industry if title to property is conveyed to the trustee of a living trust.lanzajan2blog

What is a trust?

An agreement between a trustor and trustee for the trustee to hold title to and administer designated assets of the trustor for the use and benefit of one or more beneficiaries.

Can a trust itself acquire and convey interests in real property?

No. The trust is an arrangement between a trustee and the trustor. Only the trustee, on behalf of the trust, may own and convey any interest in real property. The trustee may only exercise the powers granted in the trust.

What will the title company require if a trustee holds the title to the property which is part of the trust?

A certification of trust containing the following information:

  1. Date of execution of the trust instrument,
  2. Identity of the trustor and trustee,
  3. Powers of the trustee,
  4. Identity of person with power to revoke trust, if any,
  5. Signature authority of the trustees,
  6. Manner in which title to the trust assets should be taken,
  7. Legal description of any interest in the property held by the trust, and
  8. A statement that the trust has not been revoked, modified, or amended in any manner which would cause the certification to be incorrect and that the certification is being signed by all currently acting trustees of the trust

My trust contains certain amounts of money to be given to various charities which is none of your business. Can I omit these pages?

Because many different provisions may be on the same page, the answer must be no — but if the title company requires a copy of the trust, it may accept a copy with those amounts blacked out.

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If there is more than one trustee, can just one sign?

Maybe. The trust must specifically provide for less than all to sign.

Can the trustee give someone a power-of-attorney?

Only if the trust specifically provides for the appointment of an attorney-in-fact.

What will the title company require if all the trustees have died or are unwilling to act?

If the trustor is not able to do so, or the trust provisions prohibit the trustor from appointing a new trustee, the court may do so.

How does a notary acknowledge the signature of the trustee?

Title is vested in the trustee. Hence, if the trustee is an individual or a corporation, then the new general form of acknowledgment will be prepared to reflect the intrinsic nature of the trustee.

How would the deed to the trustee ordinarily be worded to transfer title to the trustee?

“John Doe and Mary Doe, as trustees of the Doe family trust, under declaration of trust dated January 1,1992.”

Are there any limitations on what a trustee may do?

Yes, the trustee is limited principally and most importantly by the provisions of the trust and, thus, may only act within the terms of the trust. The probate code contains general powers which, unless limited by the trust agreement, are sufficient for title insurers to rely on for sale, conveyance, and refinance purposes.

 

 

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8 Best-Kept Secrets for Selling Your Home

Selling Secret #1: The first impression is the only impression
No matter how good the interior of your home looks, buyers have already judged your home before they walk through the door. You never have a second chance to make a first impression. It’s important to make people feel warm, welcome and safe as they approach the house. Spruce up your home’s exterior with inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers. You can typically get a 100-percent return on the money you put into your home’s curb appeal. Entryways are also important. You use it as a utility space for your coat and keys. But, when you’re selling, make it welcoming by putting in a small bench, a vase of fresh-cut flowers or even some cookies.

Selling Secret #2: Always be ready to show
Your house needs to be “show-ready” at all times – you never know when your buyer is going to walk through the door. You have to be available whenever they want to come see the place and it has to be in tip-top shape. Don’t leave dishes in the sink, keep the dishwasher cleaned out, the bathrooms sparkling and make sure there are no dust bunnies in the corners. It’s a little inconvenient, but it will get your house sold.

 

Selling Secret #3: The kitchen comes first
You’re not actually selling your house, you’re selling your kitchen – that’s how important it is. The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless, and the best part of it is that you’ll probably get 85% of your money back. It may be a few thousand dollars to replace countertops where a buyer may knock $10,000 off the asking price if your kitchen looks dated. The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware. Use a neutral-color paint so you can present buyers with a blank canvas where they can start envisioning their own style. If you have a little money to spend, buy one fancy stainless steel appliance. Why one? Because when people see one high-end appliance they think all the rest are expensive too and it updates the kitchen.

Selling Secret #4: Take the home out of your house
One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to de-personalize it. The more personal stuff in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. Get rid of a third of your stuff – put it in storage. This includes family photos, memorabilia collections and personal keepsakes. Consider hiring a home stager to maximize the full potential of your home. Staging simply means arranging your furniture to best showcase the floor plan and maximize the use of space.

Selling Secret #5: Don’t over-upgrade
Quick fixes before selling always pay off. Mammoth makeovers, not so much. You probably won’t get your money back if you do a huge improvement project before you put your house on the market. Instead, do updates that will pay off and get you top dollar. Get a new fresh coat of paint on the walls. Clean the curtains or go buy some inexpensive new ones. Replace door handles, cabinet hardware, make sure closet doors are on track, fix leaky faucets and clean the grout.

Selling Secret #6: Conceal the critters
You might think a cuddly dog would warm the hearts of potential buyers, but you’d be wrong. Not everybody is a dog- or cat-lover. Buyers don’t want to walk in your home and see a bowl full of dog food, smell the kitty litter box or have tufts of pet hair stuck to their clothes. It will give buyers the impression that your house is not clean. If you’re planning an open house, send the critters to a pet hotel for the day.

Selling Secret #7: Light it up
Maximize the light in your home. After location, good light is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. Do what you have to do make your house bright and cheery – it will make it more sellable.

Selling Secret #8: Half-empty closets
Storage is something every buyer is looking for and can never have enough of. Take half the stuff out of your closets then neatly organize what’s left in there. Buyers will snoop, so be sure to keep all your closets and cabinets clean and tidy.

 
 
 
 

How to Search for your Perfect Home

A new home is a chance to bring fresh energy into your life. Searching for your next home can be an exciting journey, especially with Coastal Premier Properties and our agents with professional insight of your desired neighborhood or community. Read on to find out how the home search process just got easier.

 

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Budget and paperwork

First you need to determine your budget. A home is a major investment and budget is a concern that should be openly addressed. A financial advisor can help you see the numbers clearly and plan accordingly. Pick a realistic number and stick to it so our real estate agent can show you homes that fit within your budget. Do not miss out on the opportunity to own your dream home because you were declined for a mortgage loan. The best way to avoid this scenario is to get pre-approved once you have determined your budget.

Wants and needs

When starting your home search, prioritize your wants and needs. While pine herringbone floors or a designer patio can feel like an emotional need, the truth is life would be manageable without them. Kick off your search by choosing your desired property type, then move on to the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. You have a range of square footage and lot sizes at your fingertips. All you have to do is select the features that appeal the most to you. Decide what matters to you, and change your mind if needed.

Taps and clicks 

The latest technology can help with your successful home search. Our professional agents utilize high-tech programs to provide you with the latest market analysis and wider range of homes. This convenient program allows you to find homes with the characteristics you want; search by the number of bedrooms, desired neighborhood and so much more, anywhere in San Diego! To locate your dream home faster, a positioning system allows you to draw a customized search area directly on the map, enabling you to explore homes as well as see traffic information as a means to preview your commute. To further narrow your options, you also have access to data on school districts and neighborhoods.

Personal touch

Armed with your preferences and budget, our agents can jump into the home-buying process seamlessly when you are ready.

Whenever you are ready, call us at 858-755-4663!

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Just Sold: March 2019

Thank you for all your support, here are some of the houses Coastal Premier Properties has helped clients buy or sell throughout the county last month. If we can help you or someone you know with making a move, please contact us!

                                                                                                                                                                 

221 26th Street

(Del Mar)

SOLD

*Represented Seller

Very rare 1 level, 4 Br, 3 Bath 1850sf beach colony cottage in pristine condition, with Parking for 5 cars. The property has the ability to be 2 units (zoned R2 & has 2 kitchens). The moment you enter the gates to this private retreat you feel like you are on vacation. Then walk into the light and bright open floor plan and open any of the french doors to maximize the indoor out door lifestyle. The Bathrooms and kitchen are all upgraded, Travertine flooring thru out for low maintenance beach living.

Sold for $2,000,000.

                                                                                                                                                                 

953 Golden Gate Drive

(University Heights)

SOLD

*Represented Seller

Stunning contemporary home designed by noted architect perched over Mission Valley with 180-degree coast to mountain views in secluded enclave of University Heights. Corner lot with lush, drought tolerant landscaping on drip irrigation. Modern open floor plan with sliding glass doors in kitchen & living area that open to private 900sf patio for your indoor-outdoor entertaining. Home meticulously remodeled with extreme attention to detail. Views from every bedroom & main living area!

Sold for $1,780,000.

                                                                                                                                                                 

810 Hygeia

(Encinitas)

SOLD

*Represented Buyer

Final permitting completed! Sellers working on plans to allow you to add Cantina doors, deck off family room and stairs down to backyard. Contemporary home in Leucadia, blocks from the beach, shops and restaurants. Open Modern floor plan with one of the largest Quartz kitchen islands. Master bedroom has a wrap around balcony with unforgettable sunset views. New grass in your large front yard and private backyard. Never lived in, move in ready. Artistic and eye catching entry with custom cement wall.

Sold for $1,720,000.

                                                                                                                                                                 

14559 Arroyo Hondo
 

(San Diego)

SOLD

*Represented Both Buyer and Seller

Executive living in stunning gated community of Santa Monica. This home features over 4,400 living space with full bedrooms and en suite bathrooms. A spiral wrought iron staircase in the foyer and convenient rear staircase is a must have for a home this grand! Guest suite downstairs is complete with a sitting area, bathroom and with its own access to the over sized backyard. This estate sits on over 14,000 sq ft with a serene backyard complete with pool, firepit, fireplace and outdoor kitchen area.

Sold for $1,350,000.

                                                                                                                                                                 

3413 Camino Alegre

(Carlsbad)

SOLD

*Represented Seller

This one has it all! Beautifully upgraded with stunning materials combining sophistication & charm together with rich engineered wood floors, Carrera marble, moldings, Gourmet kitchen, Lavish master suite w/spacious retreat, fireplace & gorgeous bathroom. Large laundry w/extra frig & side exterior door. 3 car garage. Situated at end of cul-de-sac, huge lot providing lots of space and privacy not often found. Low fees.. Amazing location within a short walk to Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary.

Sold for $1,190,000.

                                                                                                                                                                 
3252 Sitio Tortuga

(Carlsbad)

SOLD

*Represented Buyer

Luxurious Italian Villa on quiet cul de sac street in exclusive gated La Costa Ridge. Stunning upgrades inside/out. Exterior upgrades incl gorgeous stone/brick archways, front balcony, rear loggia, Italian-style awnings at windows. Entertainers rear yard w/BBQ island/bar w/ stereo, custom lighting & TV alcove. Wood entry gate opens to private front courtyard w/random paver stone floor & soothing fountain to custom iron entry door. Wood floors, crown molding, custom paint. A true masterpiece!

Sold for $1,180,000.

                                                                                                                                                                 

13368 Sunshine Path

(Rancho Penasquitos)

SOLD

*Represented Seller

This immaculately maintained Torrey Highlands home is in a highly-sought after neighborhood, quietly tucked away behind Westview High! Stunning backyard views of rolling hills/canyons! First floor living options, formal dining room and spacious Great Room! Upstairs loft and private Master Retreat! Minutes from Poway Unified Schools, shopping, stores, restaurants, and freeways!

Sold for $1,150,000.

                                                                                                                                                                 

11495 Ringdove Ct

(Scripps Ranch)

SOLD

*Represented Seller

Welcome Home! Stunning newly renovated home located on a cul de sac close to highly sought after Dingeman Elementary. This executive home has 5 bedrooms and 3 full bathrooms with a bedroom and bathroom downstairs perfect for guests. Designer upgrades throughout include a gorgeous kitchen with high-end quartzite counters, vinyl wood plank floors downstairs, stunning spa like master bathroom, LED lighting, brand new dual zoned HVAC system & more. The backyard is an oversized and great for entertaining!

Sold for $1,156,000.

                                                                                                                                                                 

17305 Ralphs Ranch Road

(4S Ranch)

SOLD

*Represented Buyer

Beautiful Evergreen Home situated in a serene & peaceful pocket of 4S Ranch! $130K worth of upgrades throughout including crown molding, plantation shutters, custom paint, wainscoting in dining room, stylish white washed wood floors on 1st & 2nd floors, designer lighting and fans. One bedroom & bath on 1st floor & a large loft on 2nd floor. Chefs kitchen opens to the family room, with granite counter tops, stainless steel Kitchen Aid Appliances and 6 burner range.

Sold for $1,065,000.

                                                                                                                                                                 
1010 Skyline Pl

(San Marcos)

SOLD

*Represented Seller

Stunning home in prestigious gated community of Stone Canyon & located on private single loaded street. The open floorplan features rich hardwood floors, custom hand-trowled walls, downstairs bedroom w/ private bath, & huge loft w/ serene views. Gourmet kitchen flows seamless to family room w/ fireplace. Huge Master Suite w/ sitting room & walk-in closet. Large private backyard boasts custom water feature, covered patio, lush mature landscaping & more. Community offer Award Winning Schools.

Sold for $919,000.

                                                                                                                                                                 

6220 Camino Rico

(Del Cerro)

SOLD

*Represented Seller

VIEWS, VIEWS, VIEWS to mountains and downtown. Spectacular home with new flooring and paint. Ideal residence with open floor plan and plenty of light. Spacious kitchen where you can enjoy breathtaking views while preparing your favorite meals. Inviting living room with delightful fireplace. Lovely master suite with sitting area, walk-in closet and spacious deck. Enjoy entertaining your family and friends in this dream home and cherish the expansive views every minute of every day.
Sold for $860,000.

                                                                                                                                                                 

809 Hollowbrook Ct

(San Marcos)

SOLD

*Represented Seller

San Elijo Hills view home located in the Mariners Landing neighborhood walk trails to San Elijo Elementary, and San Elijo Middle. Welcoming open floor plan tasteful living and dining rooms leading to an expansive kitchen. Enjoy the family room with fireplace and built-ins. Highlights include surrounding mountain and coastal views, entry level bedroom w/bath, private office, private master suite, low maintenance yard with spa and basketball hoop. Enjoy covered outdoor seating and BBQ island and bar.

Sold for $850,000.

                                                                                                                                                                 

11117 Weatherwood Terrace

(Scripps Ranch)

SOLD

*Represented Buyer

Located on a quiet cul-de-sac street, in the popular Sevilla neighborhood. Upgraded, with a 100 sq ft loft area (office, play area, reading room), kitchen cabinets, double oven, and quartz counters. MBR has high ceilings and hillside views. New blinds and interior paint throughout. Low maintenance artificial turf front and back, with a large backyard patio. Just walking distance to award-winning Jerabek school, and shopping/dining. NO HOA OR MELLO-ROOS fees.

Sold for $784,000.

                                                                                                                                                                 

630 Merit Drive

(San Marcos)

SOLD

*Represented Seller

Rare Single Family Detached Home! This home is full of upgrades & is Move In Ready! This Vientos Residence 2 features a great open concept floor plan, with an entertainers kitchen & a huge GE Profile built in fridge. Throughout the home is custom lighting, designer upgraded flooring, custom cordless Bali blinds and a brand new landscaped low maintenance yard. Home also includes GE Washer/Dryer, GE Profile built in fridge all w/ 5 year warranty & all flat screen TV’s!

Sold for $745,000.

                                                                                                                                                                 

3462 Corvallis Street

(Carlsbad)

SOLD

*Represented Seller

Amazing opportunity! Lovely single level located in the highly desirable neighborhood of Spinnaker Point situated on an elevated lot with incredible privacy & mountain/back-country views! Very well cared for, high ceilings, lots of natural light, newer windows, cozy fireplace in the living room, updated bathrooms, A/C and 3 car garage! No HOA or mello roos! Great location convenient to grocery stores, restaurants, movie theater, dog park, and the beach!

Sold for $736,500.

                                                                                                                                                                 

21656 Long Trot Dr.

(Escondido)

SOLD

*Represented Buyer

This spacious home enjoys plenty of outdoor living space and a perfect layout for growing and busy households. Enter through the welcoming front porch to the main living area where a covered California room lies just off the open great room, dining room and gourmet kitchen. Towards the back and adjacent to the two-bay garage is a convenient downstairs bedroom for older children or overnight guests. Upstairs is a bonus room and three more bedrooms including the luxurious master suite with spa-like bathroom.

Sold for $691,900.

                                                                                                                                                                 

13751 MCKENZIE AVE

(Poway)

SOLD

*Represented Seller

Great Location near schools, parks, shopping, and casual dining. Wonderfully remodeled, with open floor plan featuring large upgraded kitchen W/Quartz counters and New White Cabinetry w/ custom pulls. Kitchen opens to dining room and spacious family room w/ fireplace. Brand new hardwood laminate flooring in main living areas and hallway, and new paint, baseboards, carpet & ceiling fans in each bedroom. Both bathrooms have also been remodeled. Gorgeous pool/spa. Improvements made are fully permitted.

Sold for $685,000.

                                                                                                                                                                 

12720 Rios Rd.

(Rancho Bernardo)

SOLD

*Represented Buyer

Beautiful single story Rancho Bernardo home offers an abundance of natural light, gleaming laminate wood flooring, a wood-burning brick fireplace and a cozy sitting area. The lot is spacious with plenty of room in the backyard to make into your own oasis and plant more trees, there’s already a lemon tree to enjoy! The indoors and outdoors come together seamlessly with a screened porch to allow for relaxing moments with a book, enjoying your coffee or tea and warm and balmy summer nights! See Supp Rmks.

Sold for $670,000.

                                                                                                                                                             

9491 Reagan Rd

(Mira Mesa)

SOLD

*Represented Buyer

Beautifully upgraded single story home with 4 bedrooms and 2 full baths. You will love the feeling of the open kitchen with island, new cabinets, quartz counters, new appliances and engineered wood flooring in the living areas. Upgraded bathrooms and comfortable bedrooms. New Furnace and AC unit to keep you just the right temperature all year long including the new roof. Walking distance to shopping and restaurants. This will go fast!

Sold for $669,000.

                                                                                                                                                             

4681 Chateau Dr

(Clairemont)

SOLD

*Represented Buyer

Beautifully appointed upgrades throughout this fully remodeled open concept home including Quartz counter tops, crisp white cabinets, farmhouse sink, stainless steel appliances, wood laminate flooring, newly upgraded electric panel, indoor full size laundry, textured ceilings, canned lights, gorgeous bathrooms and a spacious living room that leads out to the private backyard oasis with no homes behind. Direct entry two car garage with driveway parking for up to six cars. Brand new roof being installed!

Sold for $659,000.

                                                                                                                                                              

350 K St 310

(Downtown)

SOLD

*Represented Buyer

Sold for $625,000.

                                                                                                                                                                 

2266 Flatiron Way

(San Marcos)

SOLD

*Represented Seller

Stunning Twinhome located in The Laurels at Old Creek Ranch. This immaculate & highly desirable floorplan features 3Bd + Loft/ 2.5 Baths, a gourmet kitchen w/granite counters, huge center eat-at island, stainless appliances, spacious pantry, & opens to family room w/cozy fireplace. Large loft with a view! Spacious master suite w/dual walk-ins closets, large backyard with paver patio, A/C, & 2 car garage w/epoxy floors & storage. Resort style community amenities. Award winning schools.

Sold for $628,000.

                                                                                                                                                                 

7655 Via Cristal 6

(San Diego)

SOLD

*Represented Seller

Beautiful, rarely available, 3 bed, 2.5 bath in the amazing Monaco community of Torrey Highlands! Great Location with easy access to the 56 freeway, walking distance to Westview High, Torrey Meadows Neighborhood park, shops, restaurants, and more. Private backyard for entertaining! Freshly painted with many upgrades! Move in ready condition!

Sold for $640,000.

                                                                                                                                                                 

1302 Coventry Road

(Vista)

SOLD

*Represented Buyer

Amazing opportunity near the village in Vista, and just around the corner from Brengle Terrace Park. Turn-key with brand new kitchen, bathrooms, flooring, recessed lighting, interior and exterior paint, and stainless steel appliances. Don’t miss the over sized pool. The original floor plan has been opened up to take full advantage of the living space.

Sold for $599,000.

                                                                                                                                                                 

10661 EGLANTINE CT

(Scripps Ranch)

SOLD

*Represented Seller

Location …. Location … Location! Quiet Cul-De-Sac , just a short walk to Scripps Ranch Marketplace, walk to local park w/ Basketball Court and Sand Volleyball Court, and easy access to I15 and S56 Freeways. Windchime town homes look and feel like a detached home neighborhood. Wonderfully bright and open floor plan w/ TWO Master Suites, a sunny, south facing patio area in back, and an attached two car garage. Low fees- HOA $42 mo. and Mello Roos only $54 mo. which ends soon.

Sold for $611,000.

                                                                                                                                                                 

9811 Old Tree Ln

(Santee)

SOLD

*Represented Seller

Location …. Location … Location! Quiet Cul-De-Sac , just a short walk to Scripps Ranch Marketplace, walk to local park w/ Basketball Court and Sand Volleyball Court, and easy access to I15 and S56 Freeways. Windchime town homes look and feel like a detached home neighborhood. Wonderfully bright and open floor plan w/ TWO Master Suites, a sunny, south facing patio area in back, and an attached two car garage. Low fees- HOA $42 mo. and Mello Roos only $54 mo. which ends soon.

Sold for $535,000.

                                                                                                                                                                 

17161 Alva Rd 523

(Rancho Bernardo)

SOLD

*Represented Buyer

Rarely available 2br/2ba upper end condo with spacious 968 sf. Fantastic location nestled along the hillside with partial foothill views from your balcony and bedrooms. New carpet and plantation shutters! Parking Space #1041 and Detached Garage #496 conveniently located in front of your home! The Summit at Rancho Bernardo has so much to offer with its resort style amenities plus nearby shopping and restaurants at 4S Ranch Town Center! Award winning Poway Schools! Welcome Home!

Sold for $410,000.

                                                                                                                                                            

321 10TH Ave 403

(Downtown)

SOLD

*Represented Buyer

SOLD at full listing price. This condo is perfect for a 1st time home buyer or an investor. Features include stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, a balcony, parking, 2 closets in the bedroom, & located just steps to Petco Park. This condo is move-in ready but also a blank slate ready for the new owner’s personal stamp. ICON has one of the best Downtown rooftop decks in the district with city, bay, & ocean views. There is also 24-hour security, a movie theater, & a fitness center.

Sold for $372,000.

                                                                                                                                                            

8889 Caminito Plaza Centro 7241

(University City)

SOLD

*Represented Seller

Resort style living in the heart of UTC! Luxurious complex with pool, gym, secure gate and professionally landscaped courtyard. In unit washer and dryer, over sized private balcony w/storage, and gated underground parking. This one bedroom unit offers wood flooring, abundant natural light & coastal breezes. Close to UCSD, restaurants, beaches, and UTC Mall, Whole Foods, Ralph’s, CVS, Movies. Great opportunity to own this beautiful condo in the fantastic location!

Sold for $342,000.

                                                                                                                                                           

632 Amherst Way

(San Jacinto)

SOLD

*Represented Seller

Don’t miss your opportunity to fall in love with the pride of ownership in this single story home! Turn key home in great neighborhood! Located close to schools, parks, shopping and dining. Open floor plan perfect for entertaining. Hardwood laminate flooring throughout the whole home. Stone fireplace! Fresh paint. Crown molding and upgraded tall base boards. Large spacious closet in the master bedroom. Stainless steel appliances. Stamped concrete in the backyard with no neighbors behind. Low HOA.

Sold for $285,000.

                                                                                                                                                              

Tips for a First-Time Home Seller

Homeowners don’t generally think about filling the shoes of a first-time home seller until they decide to buy a new home. Usually, the motivating factor is the need to move — due to work-related issues or the needs of a growing family — and that generally involves buying another house.

It’s when the homeowners stop to consider the move that it may dawn on them, yes, because they need to sell, they are now a first-time home seller. Selling a home is very different from buying a home. Whereas buying a home generally involves emotions and feelings, selling a home typically centers on what listing agents like to call maximizing profit potential.

 

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Price Your Home Accurately

Price your home accurately. For this, you should enlist the help of a reputable listing agent. Don’t choose your cousin’s sister-in-law, for example, who dabbles in real estate. You’ll fare much better if you select an experienced real estate agent who sells a fair number of listings, preferably in your neighborhood.

Your agent will analyze comparable sales and prepare an estimate of value often called a CMA, for comparative market analysis. It is OK to compare the Zestimate at Zillow but note the variances your agent will point out because your listing agent should have the experience and education to provide you with a more accurate opinion of value.

Home Staging Boosts Selling Power and Appeal

Ask your agent to advise you on preparing your home for sale. Most homes show better with about half of the furniture removed. If a buyer walks in the door and wonders if anybody lives in the house, you’ve done your job correctly. Consider home staging to boost your selling power and appeal. Painting is the single most effective improvement you can make. Don’t let dings in the woodwork or scraps on the walls make your home reflect deferred maintenance.

The Best Day to List Your Home

Choose the best day to list your home. This time period will vary depending on your local community, the weather, time of year, and a host of other factors, including the state of your present real estate market. It’s not like that movie Groundhog Day. You basically get one chance to present your home in hopefully its best light the first day on the market.

Ask About Your Agent’s Standard Real Estate Commission

Ask about your agent’s standard real estate commission before you get too far down the line. If it’s reasonable, consider the big picture and benefits to you to hire this individual. Check track records for performance. Don’t expect a full-service agent to discount. Getting into a contract is only the beginning; you need to make it all the way to closing.

Your home will not sell itself, despite what you may read or hear or the propensity of real estate websites to make the process appear as easy as the click of a mouse. It’s not. You don’t know what you don’t know. To get the most money from the sale of your home, you will most likely rely on the professionals you have hired to sell your home. Do not try to pit agents against each other to compete for commission or you’ll increase the chances you’ll end up with a weasel. You don’t deserve a weasel.

Be Flexible With Home Showings

Be flexible with showings. If home showings are too much of an imposition, consider going away the first weekend your home is on the market. Yes, it can feel a bit intrusive to allow strangers to trek through your home and check out your soft-closing drawers in the kitchen. The best way to sell your home is to let a buyer inside with her buyer’s agent to tour in peace and quiet. Leave the house when buyer’s agents show up. Anything you say can and will be used against you, plus, buyer’s agents prefer to show without interference.

Host an Open House2.PNG

Allow an open house if your home is conducive to an open house. Not every home is a viable candidate for an open house. If your home is located in an area close to major traffic, that is generally indicative of a reasonable expectation that the open house signs will pull in visitors. Ask your agent if she advertises the open house online. Many a home buyer has had no desire to buy a home until she spots an open house and subsequently falls in love.

 

Insist on Professional Photography

Of course, if you have hired a top-notch listing agent, your agent most likely already provides professional photos. It’s not enough to just get the angle right in the photo, the most popular photos are rich in color and depth, and they entice. Ask to approve the virtual tour or photo tour before it publishes.

Review Your Listing Online

Look at your home listing on various websites to make sure the information conveyed is accurate. Agents do their best to ensure accuracy, but since it is your home, you know the details better than anyone. If you spot a feature that is missing, contact your agent immediately and ask for an inclusion.

Respond Promptly to a Purchase Offer

Try to respond promptly to a purchase offer. Many offers contain a date by which the offer expires. Notwithstanding, it can drive buyers crazy if they are forced to wait for a seller to decide whether to accept their offer or to issue a counteroffer. Remember, if you are selling because you need to buy a new home, you are no different when you are a home buyer yourself.

Line Movers Up Early

Line up your movers early. If you are thinking about moving at the end of May, for example, which is the busiest time of the year for movers, you might find it is impossible to locate movers for the day you want. You can start packing before your home hits the market, which will give you a head start on the process. It will also give you peace of mind to be prepared. Selling can be stressful enough.