Thursday, August 7, 2014

Honest Credit Reports and Scores

Have you ever done an internet search to get your credit score or your credit report? Have you wondered if any of these offers are actually free, or if every one of them has some kind of gimmick to tease you out of your hard earned cash in order to get the information you actually need?

As of August 2014 there are a couple that we can recommend.  If you need your credit score, go to You don't need to leave a credit card, there is no cost, and the process is easy. 

For a good credit report from Experion, try  However, they will charge you for a credit score, and for some reason they only provided Experion, though I asked for all reports.

Please note that we do not receive any compensation from either of these companies for this review.

If you would like to receive a credit score that is specifically created for mortgages, and may be slightly different than those you find online, call Bill Rayman to discuss your mortgage needs.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Update - House Flipping in the Los Angeles Market Is HOT


Big money going into flipping million dollar homes

Disclaimer - Do not try this at home

There was a time long ago in Los Angeles where aspiring actors would fix up homes in between auditions and gigs, then resell for a profit (hopefully). More recently there have been local investment groups made up from the crafts that were very good at making money this way. Now it would appear that the market is really made up of big money professionals, including banks fixing up their own foreclosed properties. All that competition has dried up the flippin market. Or has it?

Turns out Los Angeles is #1 in the US for house flips. While the most likely neighborhood is still Mid City, Encino, Granada Hills, and Northridge all made the top 25 nationally according to Redfin.

It would appear that the easy, inexpensive flip like you see on TV is not happening in LA, but more expensive homes are being fully modernized and upgraded, often at a cost of over $100,000. With the upper end of the market currently the most active, these properties sell quickly with good gains.

To read much more on the subject, check out:

What's Up with the Flippin Market?


Scary Tales From the New Million-Dollar Fixer-Upper Flip Scene

 If you are considering purchasing a home to flip and need a mortgage to do so, or if you need a construction loan for the improvements, please give Bill Rayman a call at 424-354-5325.

Bill Rayman Home Mortgage

12121 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 350
LA CA 90025


Monday, July 21, 2014

What If Nobody Sells Their Home?


Mortgage Rate Lock In, Underwater, and Paid in Full Restrain Owners from Selling

During most of the post WWII era there has been a constant churn of homes. In California the assumption was that the average homeowner would move every five years. People moved to better neighborhoods, bigger homes, due to corporate transfer, for a better job, or to be close to or far from relatives. We may be seeing a very large cultural shift brought about by a demographic and financial pressures that are tending to keep people right where they are.

Seemingly the most pressing of these outside pressures is low interest rates. More than 1/3 of all home mortgages are under 4%. With interest rates now closer to 4.25%, even a move to a similarly priced home will result in higher payments. It isn't unusual to hear homeowners say: "Why would I ever sell? I might rent it out, but with these interest rates, I'd be crazy to sell."

So that leaves 2/3 of the homes that are not faced with mortgage rate lock in. But half of those remaining have no mortgage at all. Some of those are recent purchases by investors and foreign buyers paying all cash for homes.

While owners with no mortgage have the most freedom to sell without consequence, they are also the least likely to sell. For investors, the incentive would only be there if the prices get ahead of the real rate of return. For those who paid off the mortgage and have lived in the home for decades, the most likely sale  is only in probate.

Statistically, the issue gets a bit sticky with the last group. 40% of all homes are still underwater - they owe more on the mortgage than the home is worth. Certainly some of the under 4% mortgage might be in this group, which would explain why the total is over 100%.  One can also surmise that there are very few holding mortgages over 5% who owe any substantial amount.

Others are reporting that millenials are perfectly fine with living with mom and dad or renting. They like the freedom to change locations as they change jobs, get married, or add kids. They are putting off the home ownership piece until their lives settle down.

As noted elsewhere in this blog, the balancing act between demand and supply seems precarious. The possible tipping points are many. An influx of legal and or illegal immigrants can drive demand and thus rental and purchase prices. An improving economy will result in some folks moving out on their own or going from three sharing space to two.  The current economic expansion has not reached the lower middle class, so millions continue to share space who would rather be on their own.

The odds seem to favor a continuation of increased rents and purchase prices, especially in nicer neighborhoods. However, rent pressures are also increasing in the lesser precincts as the population grows faster than new housing units are being added.

If you are interested in a mortgage at what are STILL historic low rates, where you also may say in a year or two, "Why would I ever sell this property with this interest rate?" call Bill Rayman today before the rates go higher.  424-354-5325

Bill Rayman Home Mortgage

12121 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 350
LA CA 90025

Saturday, July 5, 2014

70% of Landlords in LA County Plan to Raise Rents in the Next Year


Time to buy a Home in Los Angeles? Rents are out of control!

On the 5th of July the temperature in the various Los Angeles valleys is 96. But as we say, it is a dry heat, and the breeze makes it feel like 93. On the West side of the 405 Fwy, most cities are around 80. Is it any wonder people still want to live here, regardless of traffic and the cost of living?

But is there a limit? 

33% of LA County renters spend more than half their income on monthly rent, reports a Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies. Meanwhile wages have been down over the past six years. What are the options?

With the median apartment rent at almost $1500 a month, does it make more sense to buy? What kind of home can you own with a payment of $1500 a month in this market?  A rough estimate would put the cost of that home at $300,000. Assuming $60,000 down, the mortgage would be $240,000. With property taxes and expenses, and an interest rate of 4.2%, you should be at or around $1500.

So what does a $300,000 home in Los Angeles look like?  

A 2 bedroom home in Seal Beach, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Gardena, or San Pedro will keep you on the cooler climates, though the neighborhoods are as you would expect. You can do a lot better with a condo in any of those areas; better neighborhood, newer facility, and more amenities. You will definitely have a nicer overall home for the same money or less. 

You don't have $60,000 down, and can't afford $1500 a month. Go further inland. You can buy a home in Los Angeles for under $150,000, use an FHA insured mortgage and only put down $5000. Now your overall out of pocket might be under $1000 per month.

You can get a starter condo or home in this difficult market, and now may be the best time. Business seems to be picking up a bit. If the economy bounces back even to a 3% annual expansion, prices and mortgage rates will both go up. If you'd like to discuss what you can afford and qualify for in a mortgage in Los Angeles, give Bill Rayman a call at 424-354-5325.

Bill Rayman Home Mortgage

12121 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 350
LA CA 90025


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Homeownership Hits 20 Year Low! Prices Up! What Next


Traditional fear greed equation disrupted by government interference

All Charts thanks to, which goes more into depth on this issue here.

If you can explain what is going on in asset markets right now, you are among the few. The pundits are all over the place trying to explain how a struggling 6 year recovery can be producing a massive stock market bonanza on the upside, very close to 2007 housing prices, $100 a barrel oil, and out of control junk bond markets.  Slowly, but surely, one at a time, major economic leaders are coming around to one conclusion: Too much money chasing too few goods - NOT, mind you, in the general economy - but in traded assets.

Even the current government is starting to understand that the 1% or even the 5% has taken all the advantages of even the minor improvements in income and wealth since 2010. They did this by borrowing at rates that are artificially reduced to near 0.00% by the Fed.  The money is not going to main street to expand small business.  It is going to wall street to buy assets. 

What does any of this have to do with housing?

The housing market has been driven by cash buyers of distressed properties up until now.  Rents are at all time highs, and not coming down, because folks who were in trouble with their mortgages sold out to corporations, foreign investors, and local landlords who saw a chance to buy low.

Those folks are still scouting good deals, but they have slacked off from the rampant pace of a year ago. Today you are left with some speculators and a few regular buyers and no sellers. Why would someone sell a home that is now owned with a 3.5% or 4% mortgage. You'd rent it out if you needed to move, and get another home with a 4.5% mortgage. Speculators who bought low a year ago were not in for the flip.  They are able to get great rents.  And they can borrow money below the current mortgage rates if needed. 

Here is the coming rub. Family formation. People are already living more tightly than they did in 2007, and as middle class incomes stagnate, and young adults have few high income options available, the number of people per household is climbing. This is not sustainable. The population continues to grow faster than the housing, so there will be a breaking point.

How do you play the breaking point if you are just a regular Joe needing a place to lay his and his family's weary heads? A very good question. But any analysis of the above suggests that prices of homes and mortgage rates have to go up. That means more people thrust into the rental market. It is hard to imagine a scenario where prices come down, unless the system completely collapses.  There are those who believe it will.  But the kind of catastrophic collapse they are talking about will take average guys like you and me down with it no matter what.

More likely is that when the bubble bursts this time, we will get double the pain we should have gotten in 2008.  There will be no way to save the losers this time.  We will all just have to suffer through it, and most of us will come out okay. 

Now What?

So, what is prudent today? 

Make your decisions locally. That means that local conditions in real estate will provide you with a set of possibilities to select from. It also means that your own circumstances are local to you. Income, job stability, family changes, and location preferences are still the main drivers of real estate purchases or decisions to rent. If you are likely to stay in one home for 10 years or longer, this is probably as good a time to buy as any. If you are likely to need to or want to sell in a couple of years, you might be better off renting.  But then, predicting the economic future is harder than predicting the weather, and that is still not even close to possible.

If you are in the market to purchase a home for your own use or as an investment, and you need to secure a mortgage for that purpose, please call Bill Rayman at  His experience will be invaluable to you in helping achieve your goals. 

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