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Buying a home requires more than just funds from your home loan. Here are some tips that will help you cover other costs.
Yes, now is the perfect time to buy a home! Of course, a home purchase comes with costs you may incur above the price of the home. Insurance, escrow and title fees, are just a few of the “closing costs” as part of the purchase process.
Then of course, is your down payment. Whether you’re going with a traditional fixed-rate mortgage with 20 percent down, or taking advantage of a loan with a lower down payment (Some loans are available with as little as 3 percent down), you still need to come up with that cash. So where does that cash come from? Here are a few suggestions.
Save it up!
Yes, here’s doing it the old fashioned, but tried and true way. When it comes to buying a home, it’s best to make your financial plan that gives you enough time to make sure your money is in order. This includes debt management and budgeting, so that you have the best opportunity to qualify for a low interest rate. While you’re making this plan, include a way to save some of that cash and put it away for your home purchase costs. Continue reading Where Will You Get Your Home Buying Money From?→
Median Single Family Home Prices Rise 6% In One Month
Good news for Santa Clarita homeowners! Recent statistics released by the Southland Regional Association of Realtors showed the median price of a single family home in the SCV rose to $520,000 in March; up a little more than 6 percent from February’s median price of $490,000.
That’s a $30,000 increase in equity in one month!
Are you starting to see why it’s better to own than to rent your home?
Now to be clear, home equity doesn’t jump this much every single month, but year over year, real estate in the Santa Clarita Valley has averaged an increase of over 6 percent since 1998 (The first full year the Southland Regional Association of Realtors provided public statistics). This includes the short term declines in the real estate market during the darkest years of the recent recession between 2008-2011. Continue reading Santa Clarita Home Prices Jump To Over $500K→
Rates have remained low for the past several years, but when should they be raised? And just what IS the Federal Reserve, anyway?
We talk a lot about interest rates, and for obvious reasons. Unless you are paying cash for a home, then they play prominently in just how much home
you can afford.
Yes, rates have risen and fallen over the past few years, and today we’re not talking about interest as it pertains to the value of loans that are bought and sold on the stock market (Which can also affect rates); we’re instead talking about the Federal Reserve.
What is the Federal Reserve?
Established in 1913, the Federal Reserve acts as the nation’s bank. They set financial policies and terms that banks and lending institutions follow, and also loan money to those banks at a base interest rate that is below what the consumer would pay. The following video provides a brief and easy to understand explanation of how the Federal Reserve works.
Will interest rates go up?
Good question. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has more than hinted that it’s possible rates could rise sometime this year. If the Fed does raise the base interest rate, it will definitely affect a buyer’s loan limit or their mortgage payment amount. The best thing to do if you’re on the fence about buying a home is to lock in your rate now.
We are your choice for buying and selling real estate!
Team Avalos Real Estate is dedicated to helping you achieve all of your real estate goals, and our goal is to make sure your experience is positive and achieves the best results whether you’re buying or selling a home in the Santa Clarita or San Fernando Valley areas. Contact us today for a no obligation consultation.
Team Avalos Real Estate
Keller Williams VIP Properties
25124 Springfield Court, Suite 100
Valencia, CA 91355
Office: (661) 290-3743
Carlos direct: (818) 399-4093
Rose direct: (818) 590-2077
Home prices hold fairly steady going into 2015 in the Santa Clarita Valley.
New statistics out from the Southland Regional Association of Realtors showed home prices holding steady as we move head on into 2015.
January showed single family homes dropping in median price by $15,000, which is not uncommon for this time of year as sales slow down slightly after the holidays. What’s interesting is that condominiums in the Santa Clarita Valley increased in January by $15,000 over December 2014. The last time the SCV saw condo prices jump (rather than fall) in January was in 2006.
This interesting rise in condo prices could be attributed to a few factors:
Federal Housing Administration (FHA) guideline changes for first time home buyers.
“Blueprint For Access” program provides incentives to improve credit score and overall accountability.
Are you “credit shy?” Do you balk when it comes to the idea of speaking to a lender about your…<gulp> credit score?
It’s understandable, especially for those who may have some credit challenges, to be slightly intimidated at the thought of talking to a lender about your credit history, especially when it seems the best loans and rates are reserved for those with “golden” credit. Or ARE they?
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) recently released a new program designed to help those with lower credit scores obtain mortgage loans while rewarding them for their credit accountability.
The “Blueprint For Access” program was initiated late last year, and has already helped many buyers with less-than-perfect credit obtain home loans at competitive rates. Blueprint For Access helps potential home buyers work through their accountability issues through a counseling program called “Homeowners Armed With Knowledge” (HAWK). HAWK works to educate qualified home buyers about establishing (and keeping) good credit. It also works to establish clear “rules of the road” when it comes to maintaining good credit, and finally, the program rewards borrowers who complete the counseling program with a reduction of 50 basis points off of their up front mortgage insurance Continue reading FHA Program Helps Buyers With Low Credit Scores→
January sees highest number of loan applications since 2008.
With mortgage rates holding at below 4 percent for the past few months, it’s no wonder home buyers are seeing the opportunities available to them in the form of greater purchasing power.
According to the Mortgage Banker’s Association, nationwide mortgage applications were up 49 percent as of the week ending January 9th 2015, which is the largest increase since 2008. What’s interesting about this phenomenon is that it flies in the face of predictions made by some financial analysts who predicted mortgage rates would rise.
So why have mortgage rates remained low despite predictions?
We’ve seen the foundations of not just an economic recovery, but a true rebound in the past 12 months. Nationally, unemployment rates have dropped, while the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) surpassed expectations in the latter part of 2014. Stocks have been strong, as have Mortgage-Backed Securities. Strong investment in the stock side of real estate has helped maintain low rates as well. Consumer confidence has also soared in the wake of lower gasoline prices, putting more money into peoples’ pockets. Continue reading Low Rates Spur Huge Jump In Mortgage Applications→
The potential risks of canceling a home purchase contract.
Purchasing a home is one of the biggest financial decisions many of us will make in our lifetime. So it’s understandable that for some, the stress of
such a decision may feel overwhelming. In some cases, buyers can catch a plain old case of “cold feet,” while others may realize that their “dream home” isn’t so dreamy after all.
In other cases, situations may arise during the escrow process that could require the buyer to rethink their decision, or cause them to not be able to purchase a home at all. When any of these situations arise, we do our best to assess what’s best for the buyer as to how to proceed.
So what are the rules regarding canceling a purchase contract AFTER the seller has accepted the offer and escrow has opened?
When a buyer decides to make an offer, as REALTORS we use a purchase contract from the California Association of Realtors called an RPA-CA. As the offer is being written, we’re explaining every detail so that the buyer completely understands what will happen during the purchase process. At the bottom of each page of the contract, the buyer(s) initial their acknowledgement. Continue reading I’ve Changed My Mind. Can I Cancel My Home Purchase?→
Do I buy? Sell? Do Realtors work at all during the season?
There is a misconception out there that the real estate market shuts down between Thanksgiving and the New Year. That agents decide to “take the rest of the year off”, and not bother to market for new business, or even tend to their current clients.
While this may be true for some agents, it most certainly isn’t true for Team Avalos. We are working hard through the season to insure our clients needs are met, and still meeting with, and working with, both home buyers and sellers.
Which begs the question: Is this a good time to do some real estate business? Are sellers showing their homes this time of year? The answer is a resounding YES! Right now, buyers have such great opportunities to get into the home they want based on less competition from other buyers who may decide to wait until “after the holidays.” Also, interest rates have taken another down turn, giving you incredible purchasing power to get into the home of your dreams.
So what about selling my home? Why shouldn’t I just wait until the new year to list my home?
Mortgage rates hit their lowest in 18 months. Now is the time to buy!
Who knew? Recent positive economic forecasts have had a positive effect on the real estate industry. Considering it was just a little over a year ago that some financial analysts predicted interest rates over 5%, it’s amazing to see that, as of October 15th, mortgage rates dropped BELOW 4 percent.
So how did this happen, when rates were expected to climb?
If you go back a year and a half or so to early 2013, we saw interest rates dip to historic lows (Nearly to the mid 3% range). Now, rates have been helped along since November 2008 by federal stimulus package known as Quantitative Easing, which pumped $85 billion per month into the Mortgage-Backed Securities market. This of course gave confidence to investors, which helped the Federal Reserve maintain (and even reduce) loan rates.
In the spring of 2013, the Federal Reserve hinted that they may begin tapering off the amount of monthly stimulus, which caused panic among some investors, who began selling off their Mortgage-Backed Securities. This initiated a brief chain reaction, which forced rates to rise to over 4%, where they have been holding for a little over a year.
In 2014, the Federal Reserve began reducing their stimulus, which is now down to $25 billion per month (Saving taxpayers over a half trillion dollars per year). During this time, interest rates held in the very low 4% range. In the past few weeks, the Fed announced no new changes in rates based on positive economic news in the job and investment markets. In other words, they wouldn’t want to “rock the boat” during what’s becoming an exponential positive economic growth spurt. Continue reading Interest Rates Dip Below 4 Percent→
More requests from buyers leave agents scrambling to find homes for sale.
Santa Clarita has seen a decent summer as far as real estate goes. Prices and interest rates have remained steady, and we have seen an increase month over month in listings and sales, as well as inventory for sale.
Lately however, it seems there is a late summer surge with regard to buyers looking for homes and, for the first time in quite a while, some real estate agents are scrambling to find homes that will satisfy their buyers’ needs.
So what might be causing this end of summer buying spree?
Interest rates are still holding in the low 4 percent range for qualified buyers, and even low for certain types of loans such as 15 year fixed and FHA loans. It’s a great opportunity for buyers to flex their purchasing power and get into a home before the end of the year. Continue reading Is Santa Clarita Seeing a Mini Real Estate Surge?→
Serving Home Buyers and Home Sellers in the Santa Clarita Valley