Monday, April 21, 2014

Westside Real Estate Market Still Short on Good Properties


Lower cost neighborhoods have unsold homes

In a tale of two cities, the early Spring analysis shows wealthier neighborhoods are short of supply, well priced properties are getting multiple bids, and many deals are still cash.  Go further inland and the speculators have been priced out of the market, and the buyers who are interested in those price points either can't qualify or aren't ready to pay the sky high prices in those neighborhoods. 

What will happen as we get closer to Summer is anyone's guess.  Overall inventories for LA county are still at historic lows with under 18,000 single family dwellings on the market.  This compares with normal levels between 30,000 and 40,000.  But as we noted in a previous post, the equation for renting vs buying has tilted toward neutral.  It would appear that many renters are happy to stay put until the pricing is more stable or the mortgages become easier to get.

The irony, of course, is that mortgage rates are low and dropping.  Getting into a home now is almost certainly going to cost less than in the future.  Prices would have to fall a lot to make up for normalized interest rates of 6% or higher.  Consumers aren't very savvy, being more likely to respond to emotion, trends, and headlines.  Right now the headline is high prices and little choice. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bill Rayman Named to America Top 10 Mortgage Brokers in Los Angeles

mortgage broker los angeles

When you need a mortgage broker, you want the best!

America Top 10 was founded by a family who moves ... a lot! Every time they moved, they needed to find new local companies to help them with their daily needs. Out of this experience came the decision to start a website that would help others who were new to a community by providing a top 10 list of various businesses for cities all over the US.
Just released is a list of the top 10 mortgage brokers in Los Angeles.  Sitting at the top of the page is non other than Bill Rayman Home Mortgages.  The site doesn't make it absolutely clear that the placement of Bill at the top makes him the number one mortgage broker in Los Angeles, but there is a number "1" image in the background of the listing that would cause us to at least speculate that America Top Ten has Bill Rayman as the top mortgage broker in Los Angeles.

The site goes on to explain some issues that they felt were critical to the business of how to select a mortgage broker in Los Angeles:
A good mortgage broker can save you endless hours applying and shopping for loans. You give them the information once, and then they have to do all the shopping ... many of us are willing to pay the mortgage brokers fee to save all those hours of comparison shopping.
If you are in the process of buying a home for your family or a residential property for investment, call Bill Rayman to discuss your options at  424-354-5325

Bill Rayman Home Mortgage

12121 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 350
LA CA 9002

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Buy vs Rent in Los Angeles Updated for 2014

Monthly expense for purchase loses by a hair in 2014

Last year, I created a narrowly focused comparison between the monthly cost of owning vs renting the same home in Los Angeles.  Then I showed some general charts for various cities in the US.  Some places it seems better to rent.  Some places it is better to buy. 

Much has changed in a year.  Home values are up.  Rents are up.  Interest rates are up.  Funny, how come the government says there is no inflation?  We'll save that for another post. 

Where does that same comparison come out today. 

Last year the house was worth $650,000.  Today it is worth $795,000.
Last year the interest was 3.5%.  Today interest would be 4.5%. 
Total monthly mortgage would be estimated at $3129 now vs $2441 a year ago.

All of these estimates are from, and we can't totally rely on their numbers.  In fact, the rent number seems suspect, as it has dropped from $3150 to $3125.  Government statistics for cost of living specifically associated with rental of a primary residence showed a 2.7% increase in the LA area.  Even so, that would only boost the rent by $90.  My gut tells me that rents are up and that the 2.7% number might be more in line with reality. 

Last year, the owner would have had a $450 advantage over the renter for that same unit.  This year that advantage is wiped out, and the renter is going to spend about $100 less than the owner. 

As noted in the previous post, there are many other factors to take into consideration when deciding to buy a home vs rent.  But on a strictly cash basis, the Los Angeles renter wins by a nose this year.

If you are looking to buy and need help securing the best possible rates and costs on your mortgage, call today for a no cost, no obligation consult:

Bill Rayman Home Mortgage

12121 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 350
LA CA 90025


Monday, March 31, 2014

Los Angeles Home Buyers and Sellers Stress Test


Buying a Home Is Great Fun - but also a Stress Producer

According to Leslie Sargent Eskildsen, an Orange County Realtor, the process of buying or selling a home commonly produces stress in all parties.  She has compiled her own list of the five biggest stress points for each. 

The top five escrow stress points for sellers
  • The buyers’ contingency removal period. This is the 17 days the buyers hold you hostage while they contemplate whether or not they are still interested in buying your house. Now, that sounds a little harsh, but the truth is the sellers really have their hands tied during this whole period.
  • The home inspection. You don’t want to be there when the guy with a tool belt and a ladder shows up at your door. Just go to a movie, get a mani-pedi, or stay at work. And then don’t even read the inspection report. It will just infuriate you. It only matters when the buyers submit a request for repairs.
  • The request for repairs. This is the list of things the buyers aren’t so happy with and are asking you to repair. On your time and with your money. The most stressful part about this process is wondering if you refuse to do even one of their requests, will they back out?
  • The termite report. You’ve never seen any termites. But they might be up there in the attic chewing away at your house’s infrastructure. And what if you need to do that tent thing?
  • Waiting to see the proceeds of the sale deposited into your bank account. Or hitting return every seven seconds to see if your bank balance has been boosted. Many sellers resort to nail biting.
The top five escrow stress points for buyers
  • Gathering up all the pieces of personal financial information. Seriously, these people are relentless. The wanted it to get your pre-approval, they want it updated to the nanosecond now that you’re in escrow, and they may want it again right before they agree to fund your loan.
  • The request for repairs. What to ask for? What to ignore? What doesn’t matter because you’re tearing out the kitchen? What if the seller says “no?”
  • Removing contingencies in writing. The doing of which puts your deposit in the hands of the seller if you back out. This is serious stuff. Will you move forward without a safety net? Because if you don’t, the seller has the right to cancel.
  • Signing your loan documents. The sweat usually breaks out when you sit down with the escrow officer, who has a stack of paperwork about three inches high, four pens, a notary stamp, a fingerprint ink pad and asks if you’d like some water before you get started. Water? Isn’t that what they offer prisoners?
  • Waiting for the keys. You’ve got moving vans scheduled, carpet installation scheduled, vacation from work scheduled. Now all you need are the keys. The ticking of the second hand on your analog clock app on your smart phone gets louder and louder every second that tics by and your Realtor hasn’t called to arrange to give you the keys. And when it gets past 5 p.m. and your carpet guy can’t be reached just in case you have to reschedule because you don’t have the keys, the tic is even louder. Maybe a twitch breaks out.
The top five ecrow stress points for Realtors.
I’ll never tell.
Leslie Sargent Eskildsen is an Orange County Realtor. She blogs about what she thinks Orange County homebuyers and sellers need to be successful in the real estate market. She can be reached at

Most of those stress points above seem to revolve around the mortgage.  That may be true for some buyers, but instead of taking Xanax, you should try using Bill Rayman to handle all your mortgage issues.  He and his staff at are trained to move you quickly and seamlessly through the entire process.  Bill's reviews and testimonials almost universally speak about how professional and stress-free the mortgage can be when handled by experienced professionals who are there to serve you, not the bank. 

Call Bill today to discuss your mortgage needs.  424-354-5325

Bill Rayman Home Mortgage

12121 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 350
LA CA 90025

Monday, March 24, 2014

What Is A Seller's Market? Los Angeles Real Estate Spring 2014

Los Angeles Real Estate Market is Red Hot in 2014 - Mortgage Broker

Zillow names LA 4th on national list of Seller's Markets

The residential real estate business is entering its annual Spring ritual.  Home buyers get restless and need to get a bigger home, relocate because of the job, or buy a first castle.  Most would speculate that kids drive the Spring uptick in business.  Most families would prefer to move in Summer, so school years aren't interrupted.  Therefore, they need to find and buy in Spring.

Whatever the case may be, Spring has, is, and is likely to continue to be, the hot time for buying and selling.  What might that mean for you?  Depends on whether you are buying or selling.

Sellers are in control this year all over the West.  Specifically in Los Angeles and even more specifically in the hot Eagle Rock and Venice areas.  However, even Riverside got a nod as one of the top 10 seller markets in the US. 

Therefore, if you live in California, and if you are thinking about listing your home, this might be an ideal time to do so.  According to the Los Angeles Times, there is an influx of money from Asia scooping up homes in the burbs.  Meanwhile other cash buyers from all over the world are buying Westside properties.  Major corporate buyers have wiped out all the steals in lower cost homes and eliminated the foreclosed home overhang. We have been reporting for a year that there are really no deals in LA, except for fixer-uppers and even those are hard to find and expensive.

Buyers don't do so well when sellers are in control.  On the other hand, there seems to be a huge amount of cash in the pipeline looking for homes.  This includes the new rich primarily from tech, the foreign buyers, and middle age buyers who have made substantial equity on an existing home and are looking for something better.  Until these groups have all been satisfied, and there is no evidence that they are anywhere near done buying, prices will be heading up. 

Therefore, the risk side of the buying equation may be acceptable to most.  Most Los Angeles homes are still 20% off the pre bust highs.  It would not be surprising to see those highs tested in the next year or so. 

The issue for a buyer may be less about risking and more about finding.  There continues to be a huge shortage of good properties to choose from.  Therefore you have to be very nimble and move quickly when the opportunity arises. 

Getting a pre-approved mortgage is one way to improve your position against other bidders.  You can apply for a new mortgage online in about 15 minutes with Guaranteed Rate.  Or you can pick up the phone and call Bill Rayman to learn more about the details. 

Bill Rayman Home Mortgage

12121 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 350
LA CA 90025


Monday, March 17, 2014

Should You Get an Adjustable Rate Mortgage?

Wall Street Journal Reports that ARM's are BACK in Style

Who wouldn't want a loan that starts out with low interest rates and low payments for 5, 7, or even ten years, and then only goes up if the interest rates at that time are at certain levels based on the contract?  It sounds like a very sweet deal, and as the chart above from the Wall Street Journal shows, folks who are spending a lot of money on a home are getting ARM's at a very high percent.

So, should you get an adjustable rate mortgage
?  Or are you better off with a fixed rate?

You are likely to be very surprised by what Bill has to say about the choices.  He presents historical evidence to prove that there are likely benefits to fixed rate mortgage over the long term.  However, that doesn't mean that a fixed rate is right for you.  Bill makes a clear and concise argument for the type of loan you might prefer based on your circumstances, and even partly based on your personality. 

If you would like to get a more personal an in-depth consultation with Bill that can look very directly at your own specific circumstance, don't hesitate to pick up the phone and call 424-354-5325. Bill will gladly provide you with ideas and direction based on his many years of experience.  And there is no cost or obligation for the time spent. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Should I Get FHA or Private Mortgage Insurance?

If you pay less than 20% down on your mortgage, you will need either FHA or PMI

It is possible to get a mortgage in Los Angeles in 2014 without 20% down.  It isn't easy, and you will need a decent credit score.  However, if you have less than 20% down, you will absolutely be required to have mortgage insurance. 

There are two types.  The FHA was established for the purpose of hoping those who might not otherwise be able to afford to buy their own home with a vehicle that would guarantee the mortgage to the underwriting bank or other lender.  These federally insured loans have helped millions of folks get into a home, duplex or small apartment building 

FHA allows you to have as little as 3.5% down, but not all lenders will allow you to go with such a small down payment, even with FHA.  Your credit score will also impact the amount that you can put down.  While the FHA still provides the bulk of mortgage insurance, the cost has gone up substantially (almost double since 2008), and this has resulted in less expensive private insurance plans to make a resurgence.

PMI or private mortgage insurance generally starts at 5% down.  Currently the overall cost and the terms of PMI are much better than FHA.  FHA insurance may be easier to get for some borrowers.  According to

If you are in the market for a home or small multi residential unit, Bill Rayman can help you determine the best options available for you.  There is no cost or obligation for picking Bill's brain regarding your specific needs.  Bill will fight for you.  His only goal is to get you the best possible deal given your hopes and circumstances.   Call  424-354-5325

Bill Rayman Home Mortgage
12121 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 350
LA CA 90025