Category Archives: Buying a Home

Getting What You Want In a Hot Market

Homes are still quickly changing hands in the SCV, but does that mean buyers can’t get what they want?

We’ve seen a true rebound in the real estate market here in Santa Clarita. Median single family home prices have topped the $500,000 mark, and How to get what you want when buying a homesome homes are still receiving multiple offers, making sellers very happy. However, does this mean you can’t get what you want when it comes to purchasing a home in this climate? Here are three things to consider when making your offer.

1. Be on solid financial ground, loan-wise.

In a normal market, a loan pre-qualification letter is usually good enough to get your foot in the door with the seller in order to have them take your purchase offer seriously. However, if you can obtain a loan PRE-APPROVAL, that lends more credence to your offer in the seller’s eyes, and lets them know that you would be at much less risk of not closing the deal. Adding a sizable good faith deposit will look good in their eyes as well. read more

Are You Leaving Money On The Table When Buying Your Home?

What can you do to save some cash on your home purchase?

As a home buyer, you know that your purchase will come with some out-of-pocket costs. Even if you’re taking advantage of a zero down loan, there are

Buying a home: Cash at closing

still associated costs before you can get into your home.

So what can you do to insure you’re not paying more than you have to in order to close escrow? Here are a few suggestions.

First and foremost, do your best to have the best credit score possible.

The better your credit, the better your chances of qualifying for a loan with a lower interest rate, which will save you a lot of money on your monthly mortgage payment, as well as the overall cost of your loan.

Shop for the best loan. read more

Will Interest Rates Rise In 2015?

Federal Reserve chair recently hinted that rates may rise sometime this year. What might that mean to the Santa Clarita real estate market?

With exception of a minor hiccup in hiring last month due to unseasonably cold weather in other parts of the country, our national economic federalreservecondition has seen much improvement since the dark days of the so-called “Great Recession” that reared its ugly head in 2008.

“But what does this have to do with mortgage interest rates?”, you may ask. 

Interestingly enough, it all ties in together. Banks and mortgage lenders borrow money from the Federal Reserve who sets a “wholesale” base borrowing rate for lending institutions. From there, consumers are charged a “retail” rate that is usually a few points above (Based on credit rating, etc.). read more

Home For Sale In Saugus: 27668 Haskell Canyon Road #B

Incredible opportunity for first time home buyer or investor!

The Lichen-Hooper Real Estate Team proudly presents their latest offering.

This is a condominium located in Saugus CA. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath with a separate vanity area and walk-in closet in the master bedroom. It is a short sale, but the property has been well kept. Located in a quiet complex, this condo also features a large patio and easy access to parking, swimming pool and amenities, and is within walking distance of the Bouquet Plaza shopping/dining center, Bouquet Canyon Park, and award winning schools. read more

Top 3 Reasons You Should Buy a Home This Year

Changes to lending guidelines hope to spur first time home buyer sales.

It’s a fact that buying real estate is one of the best investments you’ll ever make. Aside from the growth in equity that will add to your overall wealth, New loan programs for home buyershomeowners are entitled to certain tax benefits not afforded to renters.

That being said, there are new incentives available in 2015 that should give those who are “on the fence” about buying a home new reasons to consider.

1. Cost of Private Mortgage Insurance Is Dropping

Private Mortgage Insurance, or PMI, is required for certain loans obtained by home buyers using 3 percent (or less) of the purchase price of a home as a down payment. The premium is applied as a fee on top of your loan amount. Typically the cost of PMI equaled 1.35% of the total amount of the loan. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has recently announced they will drop the cost of PMI by nearly 38%. to .85%. This means the average home buyer can save up to $900 per year.  read more

Is 2015 YOUR Year to Buy a Home?

Real Estate rebound shows that buying a home is one of the best investments you can make.

We regularly extol the virtues of home ownership. Yes, it IS better than renting, and yes, it IS one of the best investments you can make in your 2015 Real Estate Updatelifetime. Why is it the best investment, and when?

That’s a good question, as there are many ways to, and many reasons for, investing in real estate. In this article, we’ll focus on purchasing a home that you will occupy as your residence for an extended period of time.

You WILL make money on your investment.

Yes, we’ve seen some relatively short term losses in real estate a few years back. The recession definitely put a dip in the marketplace for a couple of years. However, prices and equity have rebounded to pre-recession levels. What’s more important is the understanding that, in the long term, real estate increases in value annually on average at somewhere between 3 and 5 percent. The Santa Clarita market has seen prices rise annually in the past couple of years in the range of double-digit percentage figures, which compensates for the drops in prices between 2008-2011.  read more

What Are Your New Year’s Resolutions?

Many people use the new year to better themselves. Have you thought of “bettering” your real estate options?

The new year is fast approaching. Do you make resolutions? More importantly, do you KEEP your resolutions? 🙂Make your New Year real estate resolutions

We often use this time of year to consider what we can do to better our lives. After all, the new year is kind of like a new slate, isn’t it? When considering these options to better yourself, are you considering your environment? Your assets? Your future?

The new year is a great time to explore these other possible opportunities. Are you still renting a home? If you own a home, have you checked in on its current value? Is it time to move, remodel, or access equity? read more

The Return Of The 3 Percent Down Mortgage Loan

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announce plans to re-introduce low down loans.

The real estate news just keeps getting better! From lower interest rates to loosened loan restrictions, there are great things happening for home buyers and sellers as we head toward the New loan programs for home buyersnew year.

The “Great Recession” had done a lot to change things in real estate, especially when it came to qualifying for a home loan. Standards had tightened in an attempt to correct mistakes made by practices such as “sub prime” and “stated income”, which had helped fuel issues that led to the near collapse of the industry a half decade ago. read more

Will Lenders Loosen Loan Standards In 2015?

New guidelines from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may help boost the real estate market.

As we mentioned in our last article, lending practices over the last few years have tightened up…and for the most part, for very good reasons. Of course, with those tightened restrictions, Santa Clarita Real Estate Updateunder such monikers as “QM” (Qualified Mortgages), many potential home buyers were left in the lurch, unable to obtain loans at nominal and competitive rates.

So the lending industry ended up in a tradeoff: More restrictions led to less risk, boosting the industry to some degree without the chance of another real estate crash. However, in many markets, this has restricted the opportunity for a true (and final) real estate recovery. read more

Buying a Home When You’re Self-Employed

New rules have made the home buying process a bit trickier if you own your own business, but it’s not impossible.

There was once a time when, if you were self-employed, that it wasn’t that much harder to get a home loan than if you were gainfully working for someone else. Lenders used to use your Cheryl Lichen -ooper“stated income,” with very loose rules on verification. At the height of the subprime lending craze about a decade ago, it was pretty easy to get a loan without any type of income verification. In some cases, your tax returns weren’t even needed to prove you earn what you said you earned. read more