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The Pros and Cons Of The 15 Year Home Mortgage Loan

There are many benefits to paying off your mortgage more quickly, but is a 15 year loan right for you?

Interest rates are a sticky business. They rise, they fall…and while we try to predict their outcome, they’re a “moving target” when it comes to really 15yearfixedtrying to pinpoint where they will land on any given day.

We’ve noticed just a little bit of a bump in rates over the past month or so. Even still, they are holding just over 4 percent, which is still incredible. Are you aware that there are loan programs out there that are not only available at lower than standard rates, but will help you own your home more quickly?

The 15 Year Home Loan

Wouldn’t it be great to not have to make your mortgage payments for 30 years? What about the possibility of putting more of your house payment toward your principle, which increases your equity as you pay down your loan faster? What if, on top of all this, your loan is at a lower interest rate than a traditional 30 year home mortgage? Continue reading The Pros and Cons Of The 15 Year Home Mortgage Loan

Drawing Buyers Into Your Home Through Proper Staging

Top things you can do to make your home more appealing WITHOUT spending a lot of money.

We often talk about how different a real property purchase is from buying personal property. There is a whole lot more paperwork to start with! 28414 Gibraltar Drive Castaic CA 91384However, there are also a few similarities. For example, if you’re selling your car, you do everything you can to make sure it looks its best in hopes of appealing to potential buyers.

Believe it or not, some sellers don’t subscribe to that same belief when selling their home, which can cause buyers to pass them by. A few minor touches can make the difference in convincing a buyer that your home is the right home.

Don’t I need to hire a professional staging service?

While professional home stagers and interior consultants can provide valuable information on exactly how to “stage” your home to make it more appealing, it’s not completely necessary. However, a good consultant can help to maximize the space and possibilities of your home in a buyer’s eyes.

If your budget doesn’t quite have room for a professional, you should still consider these tips before the door is open and the buyers come pouring through. Continue reading Drawing Buyers Into Your Home Through Proper Staging

Where Will You Get Your Home Buying Money From?

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, Is your home a worthwhile investment?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?

Santa Clarita Home Prices Jump To Over $500K

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 Team Avalos Real Estatesingle 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

Will The Federal Reserve Raise Interest Rates?

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

Fderal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen
Fderal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen

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

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Condos Rise, Single Family Homes Take a Slight Dip In January

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.Santa Clarita Real Estate Update. Photo courtesy George D. Cummings

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.

The FHA has made several changes to their approach toward first time home buyers in 2014. This included initiating an incentive program called Blueprint For Access. They have also reduced the cost of Private Mortgage Insurance by about 35 percent.  Continue reading Condos Rise, Single Family Homes Take a Slight Dip In January

FHA Program Helps Buyers With Low Credit Scores

“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? Federal Housing Administration

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

Home Improvement and Upgrades: Where Should You Put Your Money?

When it comes time to re-invest into your home, where do you get the most “bang for your buck?”

It goes without saying that, while your property increases in value over time, if you don’t maintain it or make improvements, that level of value may be28414 Gibraltar Drive Castaic CA 91384 diminished.

Like almost anything else, your home and its amenities will age over time; cosmetically and functionally, That mauve and dark maroon look that was popular 30 years ago now has become out of date, and may compromise a buyer’s positive response should you decide to sell your home. Conversely, roofing, plumbing, wooden structures and add-ons, all lose their efficiency over time.

In other situations, a homeowner may decide to make changes purely on their own ideals of what appeals to them. As they say, “Different strokes for different folks,” and decor that might not appeal to some, will totally appeal to others.  Continue reading Home Improvement and Upgrades: Where Should You Put Your Money?

Low Rates Spur Huge Jump In Mortgage Applications

January sees highest number of loan applications since 2008.Mortgage applications on the rise in 2015

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

I’ve Changed My Mind. Can I Cancel My Home Purchase?

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

Team Avalos Real Estate Santa Clarita
Rose and Carlos Avalos

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?