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What Is Escrow And How Does It Work?

August 31, 2017

Now that we know more about the closing costs, it’s logical to begin wondering who pays what? Of course, there are more than closing costs to consider. “Who pays what” is dictated by the traditions and practices in each area and varies from state to state, and even county to county. FHA and VA loans may also have some differing rules and procedures.Below is a general guide to fees and services that may be required. Remember, many items in the real estate contract are negotiable. Let’s take a closer look.

Seller

  • Real estate commission as specified in listing agreement or sales contract
  • Any applicable city, county, or real estate transfer taxes
  • Payoff of all loans in seller’s name including: Principal balance plus interest; any demand, reconveyance or other fees; prepayment penalties and preparation of documents
  • Any judgments, tax liens, etc. against the seller
  • Any unpaid property tax amount at time of transfer
  • Any unpaid homeowner association dues
  • Any bonds of assessments (if specified in contract)
  • Any delinquent taxes
  • Termite inspection and/or work (if specified in contract)
  • Home warranty (if specified in contract)
  • Notary fees, if applicable
  • One-half of the escrow or sub-escrow fees (if customary in your area)
  • Title insurance premium (if customary in your area)
  • Recording charges to clear all documents of record against seller
  • HOA fees (if applicable) – up front fee for documents, transfer fees, move out fee, etc. Varies by management company and association
  • Messenger fees
  • Zone disclosure
  • Water certificate

Buyer

  • Real estate commission as specified in listing agreement or purchase contract
  • Loan charges as required by lender, including: Any loan origination fees or funding fees; preparation of documents; credit report, pre-paid interest, and appraisal fee
  • Impounds for taxes and fire insurance (as required by lender)
  • Termite inspection and/or work (if specified in contract)
  • Other inspection fees (if specified in contract or required by lender)
  • Home warranty (if specified in contract)
  • Any applicable city, county, or real property transfer taxes (as specified in contract)
  • Title insurance premium (if customary in your area)
  • Lender’s title insurance premium and endorsement fees as required by lender
  • One-half of escrow or sub-escrow fees (if customary in your area)
  • Recording charges for all documents in buyer’s name
  • Fire insurance premium (if required)
  • Notary fees for loan sign up
  • Messenger fees
  • Possible HOA fees (move in, next month dues, etc.) Varies by management company and association.
Provided by: Kartikay Escrow

 

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Eclipse Home Prices

August 24, 2017

Consider me your #1 resource for all things Real Estate! Selling, buying, upsizing, downsizing, relocating, investing, vendor referrals, shoulder to cry on during renovations and more. Just send me an email or call me at 619-888-2117. 

 

8 Signs A Home Buyer Isn’t Serious

August 17, 2017

 

If all those excited home buyer declarations like “This place is just perfect for us” and “I have to have it!” were binding, selling houses would be a breeze. But, as with everything in life, it’s not what people say, it’s what they do that really matters.

Still, it’s hard for home sellers to not get their hopes up when a buyer’s gushing over their home—only to be disappointed when the buyer disappears without a peep.

So what are some signs a buyer isn’t serious about your home?

It’s a good thing experienced REALTORS® can tell the difference between the buyer who means business and the one who has no intention of actually sealing the deal—and that these pros graciously agreed to clue us in.

Do any of the following red flags sound familiar? Keep each in mind, and you can save yourself the drama of dashed hopes.

Sign No. 1: The buyer is flying solo

If a buyer doesn’t have a real estate agent yet, he probably isn’t serious about shopping for a home.

“Buyer’s agents come at no cost to the buyer, since the seller pays the buyer’s agent’s commission,” explains Daniel Bortz, a REALTOR® in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. Do you think a shopper who can’t be bothered to enlist free expert help is motivated enough to start putting papers in motion? We don’t think so either.

To put things in perspective, consider this: 87% of buyers recently purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker, according to a survey conducted last year by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® of recent home buyers and sellers. You do the math!

Sign No. 2: The buyer just began shopping

The old adage that timing is everything applies to selling homes as well. Typical home buyers take three months to buy, so if a seller is entertaining interest from someone on Day 1 or Week 1 of her house hunt, chances aren’t good that she’s the one.

“Many buyers look at a number of houses before they decide what they want,” says Bortz. “And if they’re at the early stages in their search, you’re less likely to receive an offer.”

Sign No. 3: You meet the buyer at an open house

It’s also less likely that a seller will score an offer from a buyer at an open house. According to a report from the NAR, only half of home buyers visit open houses—and those who do may be trying to avoid too much attention by hiding in the herd.

Serious buyers, on the other hand, will conduct their home search online, then once they spot a home they like, request a private showing.

It’s like dating: Asking to see a home one on one carries more weight than asking someone, “Hey, wanna hang out in a group?”

Sign No. 4: No pre-approval from a lender

There’s no need to read between the lines of this sign.

“You need to include a pre-approval letter from your lender when you submit an offer on a property,” says Bortz. “Without one, there’s no indication to the seller that you can actually afford to purchase the home.”

Sign No. 5: A speedy visit Buyers who zip along while they’re checking out the property aren’t likely to cross the finish line with you.

“Rushing through an open house is a definite sign of lack of interest,” says Abigail Harris, a sales associate with Coldwell Banker residential brokerage in the Boston area. Breezing through without asking questions, however, isn’t necessarily a bad sign, she adds. “Many buyers feel that they have all the answers and don’t need to ask questions.”

Sign No. 6: All promises, no action

Call it a bait and … stall. “You can tell that a buyer is dragging her feet if she says she’s very interested in making an offer but it is taking days for her to actually submit one,” says Bortz, who has encountered this phenomenon a number of times. “Typically such buyers are seriously interested, but they’re also strongly considering making an offer on another property, so they might be weighing their options before they make an offer on one of them.”

Sign No. 7: A (really) lowball offer

Everyone wants to score a deal, but if a buyer offers an “unreasonably low” sum, says Harris, that’s a “sure sign that they don’t really want the property.”

“Serious buyers in today’s market make their best offer right out of the gate,” explains Bortz. “So I’m honestly not sure why someone would throw out a ridiculously lowball offer. Maybe [it’s] just to test the waters?”

Sign No. 8: Lots of nitpicking

Even after the buyer has made an offer and you have accepted it, she still might not be 100% onboard with buying the property. Is she obsessed with finding faults and problems in the home?

“That’s a definite showing of disinterest,” says Harris. Bortz agrees, adding, “If she has a home inspection contingency and wants you to fix every single little thing that the inspector spots, such as a loose door knob, she might be looking for you to just give in and say, ‘No, I’m not fixing anything,’ so that she can back out of the deal.”

By: Jennifer O’Neill

Consider me your #1 resource for all things Real Estate! Selling, buying, upsizing, downsizing, relocating, investing, vendor referrals, shoulder to cry on during renovations and more. Just send me an email or call me at 619-888-2117. 

 

Biggest Home Seller Mistakes

August 10, 2017

Consider me your #1 resource for all things Real Estate! Selling, buying, upsizing, downsizing, relocating, investing, vendor referrals, shoulder to cry on during renovations and more. Just send me an email or call me at 619-888-2117. 

 

How to Choose a Neighborhood

August 3, 2017
 

 

Location is everything when you’re searching for a home. Finding your dream neighborhood may seem like the easiest part, but once you factor in budget, non-negotiable home features, and proximity to the things you can’t live without, it may be less obvious where you should live.

When it comes to searching for a new neighborhood, here’s what you need to know.

Property Taxes
Property taxes can play a huge role in your overall cost of living. To get a sense of what your property taxes might look like in a particular county, check out this simple property tax map. Also, property taxes for specific homes are typically included in online property listings.

What to consider: How much will my property taxes be?

Safety and Crime
Before you sign on the dotted line, search sites like City-Data.com and CrimeReports to get a sense of the safety level of a particular neighborhood. As with all homebuying decisions, determining what level of crime you feel safe with is all part of the process of choosing a neighborhood.

Your real estate agent can guide you to various resources to help you answer questions about the neighborhood, but can’t voice an opinion about it per the Fair Housing Act. The act aims to provide equal access to housing for all groups of people and to protect against discrimination.

What to consider:
• What is the crime rate in this particular neighborhood? How about the neighborhood next door?
• What level of crime do I feel comfortable with?

Topography and Geography
Land geography can play a role in costs — especially if you’re overlooking a scenic vista or you’re right by the water. On the flipside, look out for flood zones or other danger-prone areas when making a decision.

What to consider:
• Do I need special insurance in addition to homeowners insurance?
• Is this property in a flood zone?

Property Value
If there have been some sales recently, then you can get a better idea of the potential value of the homes in the neighborhood. Typically, homes of the same type in the same location will sell within a few thousand dollars of each other. When looking at homes, your agent will pull listings of comparable properties, or comps, to see what other similar homes sold for so you can see if the home you’re interested in is priced correctly.

Question(s) to ask:
• What are the comps in this area?
• What’s the projected growth rate for this area?

School Zones
School zones come to mind when thinking of location, especially if you have children (or plan to have them soon), as they tend to affect home values. If schools are important to you, evaluate the schools in your neighborhood and which homes fall into which district. Additionally, there may be community centers or parks that increase the value of the neighborhood.

What to consider:
• What school would my child attend if we moved here?
• Are there parks or community centers in this area?

Using these factors as a guide for finding the right neighborhood can help you evaluate what you care about and make the decision that’s right for you

Article By: Latisha Styles, ClientDirect

Consider me your #1 resource for all things Real Estate! Selling, buying, upsizing, downsizing, relocating, investing, vendor referrals, shoulder to cry on during renovations and more. Just send me an email or call me at 619-888-2117. 

 

Market @ A Glance: July 2017 Edition

July 27, 2017

Local Market Update - San Diego County - Real Estate
Here is the latest scoop on the local and state housing markets. For specific information on your neighborhood or a market analysis on your home please  Just send me an email or call me at 619-888-2117. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Real Estate Market Update

July 20, 2017

There has been a general slowdown in sales across the country despite continued low unemployment and steady wage growth. A strong demand for home buying is emphasized by higher prices and multiple offers on homes for sale in many submarkets (individual neighborhoods).  As has been the case for some time now, low inventory is the primary culprit rather than lack of offers.  With job creation increasing and mortgage rates remaining low, the pull toward homeownership is expected to continue.

With housing starts drifting lower some are beginning to worry that a more serious housing shortage could be in the cards if new construction and building permit applications continue to come in low while demand remains high. Homebuilder confidence remains strong though so no predictions of a gloomy future there.

 

As for a “bubble” that some like to predict, here are some key factors to consider:

  1. Has the local price index been going strong with a solid upward path for more than a year?
  2. Is the current level of the index well below the previous peak? If current prices are higher than the last peak, there is more of a chance the market has overheated and due for a correction.
  3. Is the percent of houses rising more than 50 percent and going up or holding steady? This was the key harbinger of the last crash: The overall price indexes at the metro and ZIP levels were all rising, but the percent of individual houses rising was in sharp decline. In most markets, the percent of houses rising plunged within about 18 months from nearly 100 percent to below 50 percent. The market indexes continued to rise until the percent of houses rising crossed the 50 percent line. Once this happened they finally turned downwards.
  4. Is the percent of houses falling holding relatively steady? Currently, nearly all markets are seeing the smaller percentages of houses rising. But the good news is that, in most cases, these houses are not joining the ranks of declining houses. Instead they are flattening out at around the inflation rate of 2 percent or below. (“Rising” is defined as going up faster than 2 percent per year).

The key takeaways from all this should be that while prices may not be booming to the extent they have been in the past few years, most markets that are cooling off are doing so gradually rather than going up way too much and setting up a bursting bubble.  And, there is a lot of diversity in housing markets, so it’s important to stay close to your market and not take for granted that the headlines can apply everywhere. Make sure to consult with a Realtor who pays attention to both general market as well as submarket trends (local neighborhoods) and can you help you create a plan that will benefit you the most.

Consider me your #1 resource for all things Real Estate! Selling, buying, upsizing, downsizing, relocating, investing, vendor referrals, shoulder to cry on during renovations and more. Just send me an email or call me at 619-888-2117. 

 

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