Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Zillow.com/digs Offers Fantastic Gallery of Home Decorating and Remodeling Ideas

Zillow Is Much More than a Place to Get a Free Estimate on the Value of Your Home


I've been using Zillow.com for years.  In the crazy residential real estate market we've all endured for the last decade or so, it has offered at least a rough estimate of home values.  What I didn't know is that Zillow.com has branched out, and now offers real estate market reports, advice, and more.  Of these new offerings, the one that caught my eye, because this service is pure eye candy, was their data base of decorating and remodeling ideas.

As you can see in the picture above, the data base allows you to select from various spaces (actually 36 different spaces from bathrooms to mud rooms), 13 different styles, and 3 budget categories.  You can also choose to just browse at random.

So, in the case above, I selected patio, mediterranean, and budget.  And I was rewarded with three beautiful selections.  If you are interested in a kitchen remodel, and selected kitchen, contemporary, the page just scrolls down and down.  I'm not sure how many options are there.

If you are considering any type of renovation, custom home, or remodel, and will need a mortgage or mortgage refinance to get the job done visit our website at http://mortgagehelplosangeles.com


New Contact Information for Bill Rayman

Bill Rayman Home Mortgage

12121 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 350
LA CA 90025

424-354-5325

bill.rayman@guaranteedrate.com

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Do We Have a Housing Bubble in Los Angeles or Not?

Mortgage Rates Are Part of the Equation, but Housing Prices Are Still under Levels in 2004


How does a sane person know that there is a bubble in any investment category?  You look at historical prices, inventories, dollar valuation, demand vs supply, barriers to purchase or sell, demographics of buyers, involvement of professional investors, potential of future increases in supply, and throw in "The great unknown and unknowable."

Clearly we could review all of those data points in detail, reach a very sober conclusion, and have any one of a number of unknown and unknowable things happen.  What effect would a bond implosion have on the stock market?  What effect would a breakthrough in natural gas storage have on oil prices.

So, we take the knowable items, and we do our best.  What do we know about housing?  We know that Los Angeles prices topped out at very high levels in 2007.  They then fell, depending on the neighborhood, anywhere from 30% to 50% off of those highs.  The prices began moving back up in early 2012 and have advanced about 20%, which would mean they are still off 15% to 40%.

We know that inventories are very low, and depending on the area, there is little likelihood of a quick ability to increase those inventories dramatically.  This is especially true for single family dwellings in LA proper.  We know that demand is fairly stable, with no great increase in population on the horizon.

The big deal is that mortgage interest rates are artificially low and mortgages are hard to get compared to the '90's and first decade of 2000's.

What does all of that mean.  According to Corelogic, as reported by CNBC, there is no bubble:

"... said Mark Fleming, chief economist at CoreLogic.

Even in the fastest growing markets, where prices are up around 20 percent from a year ago, Fleming pointed to still near-record affordability. For housing price affordability to return to the average level that we saw in the years between 2000 and 2004, he said, either home prices would have to rise an additional 47 percent or interest rates rise to 6.75 percent. Only Washington, D.C., and Hawaii are "technically unaffordable," according to CoreLogic."
The interest rate panic of July 2013 has subsided now that Ben Bernanke has promised not to mess things up . . . yet.  At what price level might the Los Angeles prices start to seem more bubble like.  While this blog is not in the presuming-to-predict business, the logical extension of the known factors would say that the market should be able to move another 20 - 30% higher without too much excess.  Housing prices in LA will always test old limits, and affordability goes out the window even in the early stages of a bubble.

If the economy ever gets back to 5.5% unemployment or less, and assuming some of that gain is in management positions, which tends to be the case as the economy expands, then it is entirely possible that we could test the 2007 highs.

The short answer.  No bubble yet.

To check into whether you might be able to afford the home of your dreams.  Call Bill Rayman for a complimentary analysis of your plan.  


New Contact Information for Bill Rayman

Bill Rayman Home Mortgage

12121 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 350
LA CA 90025

424-354-5325

bill.rayman@guaranteedrate.com

Monday, July 8, 2013

9 Nutty Notions About Mortgages in Los Angeles

Are You Believing the Headlines, the Myths, or the Commercials about Mortgages? 


When you are in the market for a mortgage in Los Angeles, a refinance in Santa Monica, a construction loan in Beverly Hills, or an FHA mortgage in Culver City, you are likely to start paying attention to the nutty notions that make their way into the news, internet, commercials, and even advice from friends.  Here are nine such ideas that you should carefully evaluate.

Nutty Notion #1 - Mortgage interest rates are skyrocketing and are going to kill the home market.  Today, 30 year fixed mortgages are at about 4.6.  This is close to a 50% discount of the average 8.6% over the past 30 years.  Any mortgage interest rate under 6% is an amazing bargain

Nutty Notion #2 - You have to have 20% down to buy a home today.  You can use FHA or PMI (private mortgage insurance) which allow 3.5% and 5% down payments, respectively.

Nutty Notion #3 - You have to have a perfect credit score to get a mortgage.  While the government rules and banking regulations have made mortgages tougher in the past few years, the requirements are very much the same as they were in prior to 2000.

Nutty Notion #4 - Credit Repair companies can fix your credit.  Be very careful about employing credit repair companies.  Many are scams or even straight out cons.  You can repair your own credit.

Nutty Notion #5 - Banks are your friends.  Banks are in business to make a profit based on a review of the risk of any loan versus the amount of cash flow and interest they can earn.  Especially under the new rules from the US government, banks are looking at you as a bunch of numbers.

Nutty Notion #6 - Banks have lower interest rates than you can get through a mortgage broker.  Many times a mortgage broker will put your loan through a bank if that is the best overall deal for you. 

Nutty Notion #7 - When shopping for a mortgage, go for the one with the lowest interest rate.  There are at least 20 basic elements of any loan that may make that loan better or worse for your specific needs.  Even the total cost of the loan is not reflected in the interest rate alone.

Nutty Notion #8 - No cost loans are the smartest way to do your mortgageThere is no such thing as a no cost loan.  Many of the costs are dictated by federal or state law.  Other costs are necessary if the lender is to stay in business.  Someone is paying the cost.  It may be hidden.

Nutty Notion #9 - Adjustable rate loans are more expensive than fixed rate in the long runIn fact, it can be shown that adjustable rate loans are cheaper in the long run.  This is because the risk is shifted to you, and away from the bank.  Every situation will be different.  That's why it is always better to consider talking to a mortgage broker prior to making any decisions on your loan.  Mortgage brokers only make their commission when they have provided you with a great loan.  They work for you, not for the lenders. 

We will be happy to have a no obligation conversation with you about your specific needs, and can even help you with very specialized loans. 


New Contact Information for Bill Rayman

Bill Rayman Home Mortgage

12121 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 350
LA CA 90025

424-354-5325

bill.rayman@guaranteedrate.com