Ryan Blanco San Diego real estate agent

Tips For Making An Offer They Can’t Refuse!

In a competitive housing market, you need to move quickly and present an offer that shows the seller how serious you are in purchasing their home. So, if you’re ready to buy a home you love, how can you put together an offer “they can’t refuse”? Follow these tips below!

Get pre-approved by a lender for a mortgage

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is the first important step in the home buying process. Most sellers will not even review offers that don’t come with pre-approval letter, especially since other prospective home buyers are likely to have one in hand. A pre-approval means a lender has checked your credit and financials, pre-approving you for a certain sale price of a home. It shows a seller you are serious about buying, and shows them that a lender is ready to extend you a mortgage.

How-to-Negotiate-the-Best-Price-when-Buying-a-HomeDetermine and offer a fair price for the home

You don’t have to offer the asking price of a home when you submit your offer. The price can actually be any price you want, but you should work with your real estate agent to determine a fair price for the home you’re interested in. If you are offering less than asking, you will likely need to explain why: is the home is priced high compared to comparable recent sales in that area? Will the home need substantial work that should have been taken into consideration when the seller priced their home? Is it smaller than most other homes in the area? Using a service like Zillow’s Zestimate is NOT a good basis for your offer price. Your agent should be able to provide you with sales data on comparable homes in the area (comps) to the home you’re looking at, so you have a better idea of what other people have recently paid for similar homes.

Determine what contingencies you will need to include in your offer

Do you need to sell your current home before you can purchase a new one, or will your mortgage lender let you “float” two loans at once? Do you need to be able to close the sale within a specific timeframe? Are you willing to waive certain inspections of the house in order to close on the sale faster (although this is not usually recommended)? If you have any rules surrounding when or why you will move forward with the sale, they should be clearly listed in your offer. Nobody likes surprises.

Have funds for a good-faith deposit availableEscrow deposit to make an offer on a San Diego Home

When you submit you’ll offer, you will show what you are putting down for your good-faith deposit. This is another way in which you show the seller you are serious about buying, by literally putting your money where your mouth is. It will be deposited into escrow upon acceptance and is normally 1-3% of the asking price of the home. You can always increase the amount of your deposit; however, take precautions to be sure you are able to get your deposit back should the deal fall through for any reason.

Make sure you have any required down payment and fees for closing costs readily available 

If your offer is accepted by the seller, you’ll want to make sure you have everything ready to move quickly, so you can get into the home of your dreams as soon as possible. Since you are likely offering a down payment, make sure the money is liquid and able to be withdrawn quickly. Also make sure you have set aside money for closing costs (if those will not be paid by the seller), so things won’t be held up at the last minute.

For more information on this topic:
619.384.2248
Ryan@RyanYourRealtor.com

4 Bathroom Remodel Ideas That Won’t Break The Bank

Lets face it, the list of things you want to “do” to your home never seems to end! What starts out as a new piece of furniture turns into two new pieces, then three. Next thing you know, you a have a new living room, new paint, flooring, and a big bill.

Redesigning areas in your home doesn’t have to break the bank, and can be affordable while make your home more appealing. Take a look at some ideas for remodeling your bathroom that won’t cost you a lot, especially if you decide to do the work yourself!

1. Tile WorkBathroom tile ideas that are affordable

Tile work can be very expensive. When you take into consideration the cost of a contractor to lay out the tile throughout the bathroom, their labor alone can be high. Consider limiting the amount of tile in your bathroom by focusing on high-impact areas such as the floor.

Another way to limit the expense on tile work is to use a less expensive tile design. The flashier the tile, the more expensive. Consider only using the more expensive tile as accent pieces alongside the other ones. You’ll be able to save some money and still use a few of the flashier ones.

2. Counter Tops

Trending bathroom designs usually include granite or marble counter tops. Since the size of most bathroom countertops tends to be smaller in comparison to the size used in kitchens, the cost seems small already. To save even more, consider looking at various color choices and slabs with imperfections.

Granite pieces that are neutral in color are more popular, which means they are also going to be more expensive. Consider alternative colors that would still look nice, but that previously you did not think about.

3. A Fresh Coat Of Paint

A great way to give your bathroom a new look without spending a lot of money is giving a fresh coat of paint, re-caulking the lines around the tub and sink, and cleaning the grout between your tiles. You’ll be surprised how these three things will spruce up your bathroom and keep money in your pocket.

4. Fixture Updates

Consider updating the bathroom’s light fixtures, racks, and drawer hardware. While these changes may seem small or insignificant, they can make a huge difference to the look and feel of your bathroom. Keep in mind that you don’t have to buy the top-of-the-line fixture designs; in fact, there are several companies that make designs similar to more expensive brands for a fraction of the cost.

Reviving the look and feel of your bathroom doesn’t have to be a total overhaul. By making our suggested changes, you can refresh the look and use the money you’ve saved towards your next remodel project. Be as creative as you’d like and have fun with it!

For more information on this topic:
619.384.2248
Ryan@RyanYourRealtor.com

San Diego Housing Market Update-September 2015 Sales

Below is my monthly analysis of the San Diego housing market. It will show many different metrics to help us get an accurate “feel” for what is happening in our local real estate market!

Activity Snapshot:

One-year change in closed sales

One-year change in median sales price

One year change in homes for sale

-1.9%

+3.3%

-23.3%

Inventory levels (the number of homes on the market “actively” for sale) continues to increase. This San Diego housing market update shows san diego housing market updatethere are currently 6902 active residential listings in San Diego county, which is a sizable drop when compared to last month of 7830.

According to Bankrate.com, interest rates have continued to hover around the 4% level. They are currently at 3.89% for a 30-year fixed loan (they were 3.85% at this time last month). This is still well below the historical average of 6% or so, which is great for home buyers. To calculate your potential mortgage payment or see what you can afford, go HERE.

Finally, as you will see on the chart below, prices have settled into a more normal pattern. There are much more modest changes than the previous year, with a 3.3% (it was 5.9% the previous month) increase in median prices, compared to over 20% we saw in 2013 and early 2014. However, there considerably less homes for sale from a year ago.

The San Diego Association of Realtors analyzes housing market data for San Diego county every month. Below is their monthly report for home prices. The figures represents ALL property types.

San Diego Housing Stats September 2015

CLICK FOR FULL SIZE

For more information on this topic:

619.384.2248
Ryan@RyanYourRealtor.com

Big Changes For Getting A Home Mortgage Are Here! (TRID)

Big changes have arrived in the mortgage loan process for home buyers across the county! It’s called TRID. These changes will get rid of 3 old forms (the good faith estimate, truth in lending disclosure, and the HUD-1) to improve clarity of the loan terms/fees and make life easier for you, the home buyer. This is nicknamed “know before you owe.”

What the heck is TRID? Well, it stands for TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures. These are required under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). 
If you have ever purchased or sold a home or refinanced one, you have seen the Good Faith Estimate and Truth In Lending disclosure at the beginning of the loan process to estimate costs/fees. You will also have seen the overly-complicated closing settlement statement called a HUD-1. It itemized services and fees associated with a real estate closing transaction-whether you bought, sold, or refinanced a home. It also assured borrowers that they are receiving the loan they agreed on. 

As of October 3rd, 2015 here are the changes you can expect:

The 3 documents mentioned above will be replaced by 2 forms. 1) The Loan Estimate (replaces the Good Faith Estimate and the initial Truth In Lending Disclosure). 2) The Closing Estimate (replaces the HUD-1 and the final Truth In Lending Disclosure). Under TRID, the Loan Estimate must be mailed or hand-delivered to the borrower no later than the 3rd business day after receiving a mortgage application, and no later than the 7th day before the transaction closing. A consumer must receive the closing disclosure at least 3 days prior to closing. If any of these do not occur on time, it will likely delay the entire process and extend the closing date.

TRID-closing disclosure

EXAMPLE OF PAGE 1-CLOSING DISCLOSURE

Unlike the old documents being replaced, the new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure will now mirror each other with information such as loan terms, projected payments, costs of closing, and other costs. This allows borrowers to easily compare the two.
Since the Closing Disclosure is received at least 3 days prior to closing, it allows for plenty of time to review and compare it to the Loan Estimate, before closing on the mortgage. In the past, you may not have gotten the HUD-1 settlement statement until the morning of the closing. This left you scrambling without time to review (or perhaps not even reviewing it at all!), making it hard to compare your original Good Faith Estimate and Truth In Lending Disclosure, because they were in two different formats.

For more information on this topic:

619.384.2248
Ryan@RyanYourRealtor.com

How Can I Get Rid Of My Mortgage Insurance?

Most home loans with less than 20% down payment are required to include mortgage insurance with the loan. This insures the lender in case of borrower default and minimizes their risk. However, mortgage insurance may still be required even if it’s not typically required by your lender!

Unlike the period before the housing bubble, home mortgage applications undergo a strict set of standards for approval. These standards are known as the underwriting process. Unique situations in employment or credit history may require an additional down payment percentage to avoid PMI (private mortgage insurance). Most underwriting requirements require adequate information on the borrower’s credit and employment history before final loan approval. Self-employed individuals or those with alternative forms of credit may go thru additional scrutiny when dealing with mortgage insurance requirements.pmi for FHA and conventional home loans

Lender-paid mortgage insurance is a popular option with potential homeowners that seek to avoid the cost of PMI. This is where the lender will incorporate payment of private mortgage insurance in exchange for a slightly higher interest rate. This is one example of the points system on a mortgage application that eliminates the cost of PMI. The increase in interest rate may or may not warrant the need for a lender-paid mortgage insurance arrangement.

Strict lending requirements and banking policy now limit the number of mortgages with zero down payment options (although VA loans will continue to offer this). Conventional mortgages and FHA both currently require private mortgage insurance if it is less than 20% down payment. However, FHA loans can be more flexible with the initial down payment requirements with better credit.

The risk protection process may or may not require mortgage insurance in your home loan. FHA mortgage insurance stays for the life of the loan (this means the only way to drop it is to refinance into another type of loan). Conventional loans have a reduction in risk once there is at least 20% equity in the home compared to the principal of the mortgage (normally requiring an appraisal to prove the equity). Don’t hesitate to contact a mortgage professional about potentially dropping mortgage insurance to reduce overall loan costs. If you need a referral to good mortgage professional in San Diego, contact me for assistance.

For more information on this topic:
619.384.2248
Ryan@RyanYourRealtor.com

San Diego Housing Market Update-August 2015 Sales

Below is my monthly analysis of the San Diego housing market. It will show many different metrics to help us get an accurate “feel” for what is happening in our local real estate market!

Activity Snapshot:

One-year change in closed sales

One-year change in median sales price

One year change in homes for sale

+4.4%

+5.9%

-22.1%

Inventory levels (the number of homes on the market “actively” for sale) continues to increase. This San Diego housing market update shows san diego housing market updatethere are currently 7830 active residential listings in San Diego county, which is up when compared to last month of 7125.

According to Bankrate.com, interest rates have continued to hover around the 4% level. They are currently at 3.85% for a 30-year fixed loan (they were 4.07% at this time last month). This is still well below the historical average of 6% or so, which is great for home buyers. To calculate your potential mortgage payment or see what you can afford, go HERE.

Finally, as you will see on the chart below, prices are starting to take on a more normal pattern. There are much more modest changes than the previous year, with a 5.9% increase in median prices, compared to over 20% we saw in 2013 and early 2014. However, these higher prices are now resulting in a considerable slow-down of the number of homes sold over a year ago.

The San Diego Association of Realtors analyzes housing market data for San Diego county every month. Below is their monthly report for home prices. The figures represents ALL property types.

San Diego Housing Stats August 2015

CLICK FOR FULL SIZE

For more information on this topic:

619.384.2248
Ryan@RyanYourRealtor.com
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