Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Why Should You Connect with Bill Rayman on LinkedIn?

Bill Rayman is VERY Connected In Santa Monica and West LA!

 The reasons to get connected are pretty much the same reasons you have set up a LinkedIn account.

  1. I have a huge traditional Rolodex full of thousands of Westside business owners, community leaders, lawyers, and others.  Many of these individuals may be of help to you in providing goods, services, a job or an employee for a job you need filled
  2. I now am approaching 500 local folks who are connected to me on LinkedIn.  My plan is to extend that to well over 1000.  As you connect with me on LinkedIn, you are one step closer to connecting with those 1000 through the convenience of LinkedIn.
  3. I update my Linked in each time I produce another YouTube video, blog post, or make changes in my website, etc.,  By being Linked to me you see those updates.
  4. I have joined various LinkedIn Groups and will be joining more.  Many of these Westside and real estate related groups might be good places for us to participate together.
If you haven't already connected with me, let's get connected. There is a very good chance that I have friends, clients, and associates who you might benefit from being connected to, either directly, or through me. Likewise, your connections might help me.

Make sure you go to my Linked In profile page and connect with me!

Click here now!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sense of Direction Challenged? Getting Lost with or without GPS

Getting from Point 9 to Point B?  Why Point 9?  I'm Lost Already 

I'm in the camp of the eternally lost. If having mental maps is a state of mind, for me that just means one more state to get lost in. My maps seem constructed from DNA that hasn't been updated since a couple of Cro-Magnons ran from predators and managed not to fall into a tar pit.  My maps have the staying power of an Etch-a-Sketch.

Getting lost is expected.   My checklist of dunderhead moves include: getting lost on numbered streets; mistaking one avenue for another; and, missing San Diego entirely on a straight southern shot from LA and winding up at the Mexican border. Sherman McCoy in "The Bonfires of the Vanities" has nothing on me; I've left rubber in parts of towns that I never ever EVER should have been in. I regularly go to the wrong car, street, house, city, airport, and, once, country. That last one may be some kind of record. It also provided a unique ethical dilemma.

Paris. I'm with my French girlfriend before I head for a business meeting in Barcelona. I know her, and know her sense of direction is 12 levels below common sense. So when she puts me on the metro to the airport, I'm sure - and soon confirm - that it's the wrong train. No problem. When you get lost as a matter of course you learn to leave spare time. I switch trains and get to DeGaulle airport an hour before my flight. Perfect. Or would be - except I'm at the wrong airport.

I've exhausted my spare time. The clock is ticking. I hop into a taxi, shout "Orly airport. Vite!" and we're off. Zipping on the highway, half-way there I can tell I'll make it with, oh, at least 10 seconds to spare! Yikes, but phew! To save time I get my wallet out, and realize I'm broke. I gave all my money to my girlfriend. I didn't need money. I'm being met by a delegation in Spain.

Now, it should be noted that the French have a reputation for being unfriendly, particularly the waiters and cab drivers.   Understandable since they don't get tips. "Uh-oh" is the same in French as in English.

Time to choose. Say nothing, get to Orly then dash out and run like mad. Or, confess and pray to the travel gods my driver doesn't deposit me in the middle of nowhere (a place I've been many times!)

I opt for honesty. I tell the driver, "Je n'ai pas any money." He glares. I cringe. He declares, "Pas probleme," and floors it. I could kiss him. But really don't want to be left in the middle of the highway.

We make it to Orly. My flight to Spain leaves in minutes.   I dash thru the Iberian Airlines counter trailed by their laughter at my plight, race down the corridor - suffering the airport rule that the less time you have the further your departure gate is - and hurl myself through the closing door and onto the plane's floor. I made it!!!

And that's how I got to Rome, Italy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How to Check Out Your Mortgage Broker in Advance: Fox News

From Fox News Article
 Fox News Gives Advice on How to: 

Protect Yourself From Crooked Mortgage Broker

The carnage of the housing crisis and resulting foreclosures have left prospective homebuyers a little wiser and a lot more skittish. Many borrowers are looking at mortgage brokers and lenders with a jaundiced eye. And they're not the only ones: States and the federal government have been tightening regulations in an effort to stem broker fraud and to ensure brokers are legitimate.

The article goes on to point out three primary places to check to determine if you broker is legit and has the assets to back up their efforts on your behalf.
  • brokers must have guaranty funds, surety bonds or minimum net worth
  • research before deciding which broker to use
  • state licensing
These are wise steps to take and we will be happy to provide you with all the assurance you need regarding our company.  

Monday, February 18, 2013

What is an interest rate lock and how does it work?

Los Angeles Mortgage Broker Bill Rayman Explains Mortgage Interest Rate Locks.

 A typical interest rate lock guarantees your interest rate for 30 days from the date your application is received unless otherwise stated.  The lock does not obligate you to the loan nor does it obligate the lender to fund.  It merely eliminates the risk of interest rates increasing while final negotiations are in process. If interest rates fall, we may or may not be able to re-lock with the same lender at the lower rate. 

Since the lender is absorbing the risk of a potential increase in rates, there is a cost for taking on this risk.  Therefore, when you shop for mortgages, a 7% interest rate with a 60 day lock is a better deal for you than a 7% interest rate with a 30 day lock.

Once you submit and the lender receives your application, a lock for that interest rate is established.  You will receive a confirmation in your loan approval package.  At this point your interest rate will be guaranteed as long as you are approved, and assuming you submit all information prior to the deadlines in the lock. 

You might also be interested in  Housing Inventory Historically Low in LA - Price Pressure UP

Friday, February 15, 2013

What Mortgage Can I Afford in Los Angeles in 2013?

As home prices rocket up in Los Angeles, some who fear being left out of ever affording a home are quickly sizing up the market.  Part of that equation is an actual equation.  How much can you afford?  Even if you think you can afford a certain amount, the lender or now the US government may not agree with you.  New restrictions put in place as a result of Dodd Frank have created rules regarding what are safe loans. 

See a home mortgage affordability calculator right here.

In some ways determining the amount that you can afford to pay for a new home may seem like a simple process.  You figure out your net income after taxes (the amount of your paycheck), and you subtract all of your other payments and expenses other than housing.  The answer is how much pr month you can afford for your new home.  You would be right, of course, but it isn't quite that simple.

First of all, banks and other lending institutions, have standards that you must meet in order to get a mortgage from them.  While these vary from company to company, there are some rules of thumb that you can use.  The total mortgage payment plus property tax and homeowners insurance AND any association dues, should not exceed 28% of your net income.

Now add all other debt payments for cars, credit cards, installment debt, and the like.  The total of your your cost of homeownership above plus your cost of paying these debts should not exceed 36% of your net income.

Because homes cost more in the Southern California area than they do in say, Detroit, and because the cost of heating and air conditioning is much lower here, many lenders will allow slightly higher ratios than above.  The 28% and 36%  are still excellent standards to use in your own planning.

Another way to look at your personal ability to pay is to compare all cost of homeownership with cost of renting.  This is fairly complicated and cannot be determined by seat-of-the-pants methods.  Calculators set up for this are useful.  Here are things that are commonly overlooked.  Mortgage interest and property taxes are deductible for purposes of IRS personal income tax.  If you are in the 20% tax bracket, you can roughly assume that you will save 20% of your total interest and property tax expense on your federal taxes.  In California, you will also have tax savings on state taxes.

On the expense side, many underestimate the cost of utilities, new furniture, repairs, and upkeep.  Most apartment dwellers do not have high air conditioning bills, landscape expense, or need to replace the roof.  Pay special attention to estimated costs of water, trash, electricity, gas, and sewage.  Add to your budget a reasonable amount for repairs and improvements.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Buying A Home in LA? Or Selling One? Should You Use a RE Agent?

Why Use a Real Estate Agent to Buy or Sell a Home in Los Angeles?

In this 10 minute video, Los Angeles refinance expert and mortgage broker Bill Rayman gives an honest and critical analysis of working with a realtor vs. going it alone. 

He also explains the most important things to look for in a real estate agent. (hint: its not giving you flowers, although we all love flowers.) Bill explains the facts that inform his professional opinion, and the pros and cons of going with a real estate agent, or going independent. 

As a mortgage professional with many years in the industry, Bill Rayman provides honest, experienced, and balanced consultation on the ins and outs of home buying and refinancing, and the lending process.  It is common knowledge that there is misinformation and predatory practices in the mortgage industry. Bill Rayman prepares consumers with the information they need to know to get a fair deal in today's real estate market.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Trulia Now Offers Heat Map to Show Home Values by Los Angeles Region

Help Your Home Shopping Experience with a Heat Map to Guide You to Affordable Homes

Trulia is now offering a heat map to give you a graphic guide to home shopping in the Los Angeles Market.  One can only guess as to why Santa Monica Manhattan Beach, etc, are left out.  However, this is a fun new tool to help you decide where not to shop. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

West Los Angeles - 860 Homes for Sale - None in Playa Vista

Buying or Selling a Home in West Los Angeles - Real Estate Market Is More Like 2006 than 2012

We have heard it before.  Real Estate is all about location.  Right now a perennially hot spot for housing is finding its legs and then some.  In all of West Los Angeles there were only 860 single family dwellings for sale as of December 2012.  Marina Del Ray had 7 for sale.  Playa - none.  Cheviot - 5.  The entire city of Santa Monica only 27. 

With so few homes for sale, we are seeing frantic buyers paying over asking again.  Valuations are going up so fast that it is hard to know what a property is worth.  Zillow shows some properties up more than 20% in six months.

Whatever happened to the shadow inventory that was going to keep depressed homes off the market?  Seem that the banks wised up and realized they were better off to keep folks in those underwater homes than to foreclose.  They either maintain the client until better days, or they have a higher valuation when the time comes to sell.  Win Win.

So, the shadow inventory is likely to come slowly into the market, with the result being very little dampening effect on the price appreciation now being experienced.

What could slow down the market?  Not supply.  Nothing is being built in West LA or pretty much anywhere in LA.  And there doesn't seem to be a big rush for current owners to get out.  Many might feel that there is room for this market to run.  Prices topped out in 2008 around 50% higher than current values, so unless a current owner has a reason to move, expect most to stay put until they can take advantage of much higher prices.

Cash?  No.  It turns out that there are plenty of cash buyers in the market, both corporate and individual, who see an opportunity to buy cheap and rent out to folks who can't qualify for loans, but can afford the rent.  This can't go on forever, in that the investor will see a limit to what will "pencil out" as an investment. 

Eventually there will be a time when the individual buyer will be priced out, too.  However, as with all previous bubbles, this will likely happen only after a frantic period of overpaying. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Housing Inventory Historically Low in LA - Price Pressure UP

Sideline Cash Chasing Los Angeles Housing - Inventory Drying Up 

Thanks to

The news is barely talking about the reverse housing bubble hitting some of America's neighborhoods.  Los Angeles is one of those markets.  Prices are skyrocketing in many areas as supply is almost non-existent, especially for desirable homes.  When properties do become available, there are plenty of buyers waiting to pounce.  Sound familiar?

We are not in a similar situation to the 2000-2007 bubble.  Instead of folks looking for a home to live in, investors are clamoring for properties to rent.  And because of the depressed overall market since 2008, nobody is building new single family homes.  Result, lots of money chasing very little product. 

What does this mean for you?  If you are planning to buy a home to live in or even if you want to join the crowd going after investment properties, it will feel like 2006 in Los Angeles.  You will need to beat the bushes for an acceptable house.  Then you may find yourself in a bidding war.  And you may be bidding against large corporations with cash. 

See your mortgage broker in Los Angeles before you go shopping and get pre-approved.  Here is a form you can use.  This will help you even the playing field against the cash buyer.  Some sellers will prefer to sell to someone who is going to occupy their home if they feel confident that you have the resources to close the deal.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

General Contractors Feeling Effects of Home Prices Going Up in LA, Dallas

Business Finally Booming for Building Trades in Los Angeles and Dallas

The last six years have not been kind to the construction industry.  General contractors have been scraping to stay alive.  The building business has always been boom and bust, but in a few short months in 2008 friends and clients of mine went from being overwhelmed with work to having to take on handyman work to stay alive. 

That has all changed.  As noted here and here, single family home prices are rising dramatically in some areas.  In conversations over the last week with a client, general contractor, in Dallas and a contractor friend in LA, the effect is being felt throughout the building trades.  Work is already steady, and new quotes are coming in at a fast clip.

According to Bill Rayman, a home mortgage consultant and lender, "We have been experiencing historically low interest rates for a couple of years now.  Whether these rates stay this low is anyone's guess, but for those who want to refinance for a kitchen remodel or a room addition, the time is really right in the Los Angeles market."

If you are considering any type of home purchase, real estate investment, remodel, or if you just need to lock in these historically low interest rates, give a call today.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Zillow Projects Los Angeles Home Values to Jump 7.3% in 2013

The Street Quotes Chief Economist Stan Humphries of Zillow On Top Housing Markets for 2013

As noted in an earlier post on Los Angeles home prices moving substantially up in 2012, Zillow is now projecting Los Angeles to have the 5th best increases year-over-year nationally in 2013.

Fifth-best market: Los Angeles
Projected median price gain: 7.3%
Zillow predicts L.A.'s housing market will see big price increases this year, partly because it's so beaten down that the only way to go is up.
Humphries says median L.A. prices are back to December 2003 levels, "so affordability is looking quite good."
Zillow estimates that median Los Angeles home values plunged 38% after peaking in early 2006 -- and while they've been rebounding since last March, they're still way down. The site puts the typical La-La Land house's current value at $414,900 -- 33% below 2006's $619,200 peak.

What might this mean for you?

  1. If you are considering buying a home in the LA market, now is the time to act.  The average projected gain suggested by Zillow of 7.3 will not be spread out evenly.  Expect Westside and South Bay properties to surge even more.  
  2. If you are thinking to sell, you may want to hold on, or at least hold out for your price or higher.  Anecdotal stories are being passed around of homes going for well over asking prices in sought after neighborhoods.
  3. Refinancing for home improvements is becoming more and more realistic with every passing month.  As your equity increases, lenders are far more likely to be interested in your loan, and at historically low interest rates.  
If we can be of any help in securing a mortgage for your new home or refinance, please call 310-295-6213 and ask for Bill Rayman.