Coastal Premier Properties is pleased to welcome Monika Mehran! Monika will be working out of our Del Mar office.
When it comes to buying a home, everyone wants the best property they can find for the least amount of money possible. To make this seemingly impossible dream a reality, there are some steps you should take to get the best deal out there. Start by doing your homework and researching property values in the area, then time your move wisely. Here are tried-and-true tips to get the best deal on a home.
It might sound boring, but if you don’t know if you’re pre-approved for a mortgage and if you don’t have your paperwork in order, you could miss out on a great house. Usually everyone is all over a good deal, so you want to be prepared to make an offer quickly if necessary. This paperwork takes time, and if it isn’t ready to go, you could miss the window of opportunity. You also need to make sure you can afford the property to begin with, too!
If you’re young and looking for a first home, you might not want to go all-in on a more expensive, move-in-ready place. You can save a lot of money by looking at a house that has great bones but needs a superficial facelift. Look at the potential and be willing to update that pink bathroom. Plus, remodeling the room may allow you to up the price even further when you eventually go to sell the property.
While you need to take the property values you see on real estate sites with a grain of salt, work with your agent to evaluate the prices in the area. Check out pictures, look at materials and finishes in the home, think about lot size. Be really critical and take everything into consideration, because all of it impacts the price of the home. And remember: while it’s not in an agent’s best interest to overprice a house they want to sell, doing this research beforehand can help you negotiate a price.
After doing all that research, there is a reason why the price you decided on is what it is. Make sure that this reasoning is communicated to the seller. I like to put a personal touch on the offer and write up a little something about how we landed on the number we did. You want to start a dialogue and not just go in with a blanket statement.
5. Check how long the property has been on the market.
People usually want to sell their homes in a timely fashion, so it should raise a flag if a property has been on the market for six months to a year. Have your agent call and see what’s up with the house. Don’t be afraid to make an offer, though! You want it to be fair, but when a house has been sitting that long, you never know what someone would be willing to take unless you ask.
There are definitely more popular times of year to list or look for a home. Surprisingly, the spring market can start as early as right after Super Bowl Sunday. Everyone is trying to buy in the spring, but the late fall is the most underrated time of year. You can find great properties because sellers are eager and want things wrapped up by the holidays. Plus, many buyers aren’t willing to move during the winter, so you’ll have less competition.
7. Make sure you have good credit.
Mortgage companies will reward people with better credit. Shop around and make sure you’re getting the best rates and packages for your unique situation. Look at roughly three different options. You’ll also want to get the help of an experienced mortgage broker. Have credit in order (680 and above), employment history, and income ready to go. If these factors aren’t in good standing, you could end up paying higher rates.
Coastal Premier Properties is pleased to welcome Lexi Gustin! Lexi will be working out of our Carmel Valley office.
Lexi Gustin is 28 years old and a resident in La Costa. She has a health and fitness background and is licensed in esthetics. Lexi’s nationality is Lebanese/Italian and some of her hobbies outside of work include singing and opera. She is a loving mother of one. Lexi actively involves herself in a number of charities for animal rescues and adopting from shelters.
Lexi knows that buying/selling property is not a walk in the park. She can help provide a smooth transaction while getting you the best deal possible. Lexi believes in the importance of helping clients understand the ins and outs of the real estate process and is determined to fulfill this task to the best of her ability. She is ready for any and all real estate questions you might have. Give her a call today!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A certification of trust containing the following information:
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.
Maybe. The trust must specifically provide for less than all to sign.
Only if the trust specifically provides for the appointment of an attorney-in-fact.
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.
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.
“John Doe and Mary Doe, as trustees of the Doe family trust, under declaration of trust dated January 1,1992.”
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.
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.