Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Preparing Your House For Sale Could Add 10% to Selling Price

Small things you change about your house can make a big difference in selling price

There are many myths about house preparation prior to sale. Major overhauls of your kitchen or bathroom will not likely generate enough additional dollars in the sale to pay for the renovations. On the other hand, small fixes like painting shabby cupboards could make a difference. 

Real estate legend Barbara Corcoran walks us through the do's and don'ts of preparing your home for sale. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Los Angeles Mortgage Rates Drop to 18 Month Lows

Is this the last chance to get in on these historic low mortgage interest rates?

Freddie Mac: 30-year mortgage falls to 3.89%, lowest since May 2013 - Los Angeles Times

MortgagesFreddie MacFannie Mae
Freddie Mac's latest report shows 30-year mortgage rate at lowest point since May 2013
Mortgage bankers made less profit per loan in third quarter; 30-year rate falls to lowest point in 18 months
Home-loan rates fall across the board; Freddie Mac pegs average for 30-year at 3.89%, an 18-month low
The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell this week to 3.89%, an 18-month low, from 3.97% last week, according to Freddie Mac's survey of lenders.
 What does this mean for you? The last time rates dipped below 4%, they dropped to a low of 3.35 for a month or so, but were generally around 3.5 - 3.7 for a 18 months.  The current dip into this rarefied air seems to be driven by the slowdown in economies around the world and the likelihood that these nations will be attempting to prop up their economies. 

Will we get another 18 months for under 4% rates? Will we ever get down to 3.5% again? Our own Fed is expected to raise interest rates in the Spring. Will their effort actually result in increases in the marketplace or will international problems keep rates low? Stay tuned for answers to those questions.

However, if you are thinking that you would ever like to buy or own, this is probably an outstanding time. You are seeing interest rates at less than 500 basis points from all time lows. You are seeing home prices slightly lower than the tops of last March. Home prices could continue to fall. Interest rates could continue to drop. But both seem naturally to be headed higher.

If you would like to find out how much home you can afford right now, or have us find out if we can get you prequalified, call for a no cost - no obligation evaluation. Bill Rayman is a mortgage counselor. He is going to advise you on the smartest way to work towards achieving the goals you have for your property purchase or refinance.  Call now at 424-354-5325

Bill Rayman Home Mortgage

12121 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 350
LA CA 90025



Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Hands down. Bar none.



I'm so thankful for Thanksgiving

Sure, it doesn’t offer the loot from Christmas/Hanukah, the fireworks on the Fourth of July, or the New Year’s Eve party (a personal toughie since it’s my birthday).   What it does give me is a 4 day holiday – a boon engrained from every school year from kindergarten through 20th grade.  Learning wasn’t restricted to math, social studies and French; I learned right away that once a year a Friday becomes a Saturday.  “School’s closed” shares honors with its subsets “snow day” and “summer vacation” as my most cherished 2-word phrases.
The gift of an extra Saturday is so much better than a winter respite of just a 3-day weekend pass from President’s Day or Memorial  Day.  And don’t get me started on how nice the extra hour of sleep is for daylight savings because they it take back 6 months later.*  Now, slip me an extra hour of sleep every weekend and then maybe DST could give TG a contest. 
Being idle on Friday was built into my belief system.  Even now as an adult I believe we should all have the day off.  (Editor’s note: Please do not tell my staff I wrote that!)   But it’s not just the day off that lets me celebrate it as a kid’s holiday.  I love that my only obligation is to over-consume. This is perfect because Gluttony and Sloth are two of my favorite 7 sins.  Actually, my other 5 have their own holiday milieus: Greed and Envy rule at Christmas, Wrath and Pride duke it out at New Year’s over year-end bonuses (the report card for adults), while Lust is powerful enough to claim Valentine’s Day for itself.
To eat and collapse, that’s my ticket.  And there are cornucopias a-plenty.  My first year in Los Angeles I was invited to 5 Thanksgiving dinners – and didn’t miss a leg, a wing, a haunch, a slab, a cut of anything that flew or walked.  And true to my inner kid’s delight, Thanksgiving meals are without vegetables - at least not in their naked form.  Carrots are a cake, zucchini is a bread, sweet potatoes come coated with melted marshmallows, pumpkin only exists as pie, spinach is heavy creamed, corn has so much butter it’s “corn Kiev”, and anything else green is submerged under so much gravy I consider it a beverage. 
“Carbohydrates?” I hear you say?  Biscuits, muffins, rolls, popovers – I eat my daily bread hourly.  And passing on stuffing (aka: more bread!) is plain bad manners.  Have some bread and stuffing leftover?  Try a stuffing sandwich with gravy.  You’ll never go back to Hamburger Helper. 
And on to dessert.  The Halloween sugar binge was a dinky warm up lap to the sweet Thanksgiving marathon.  Pies, cakes, cookies, nuts, puddings, syrups, ice cream (sorbets are banned for the weekend!), caramel, chocolate Turkeys, whipped cream…  Yum!.  Plus I wash it all down with ciders, beers, wines, and all sorts of free-flowing alcohol, for which I cite Tiny Tim: “God Bless, Uber, everyone.“
So this Thanksgiving, when I recall what I’m grateful for, I will give thanks to our Pilgrim forebears who did mimic bears and packed on as much fat as fast as possible in anticipation of winter.   So, bring me my mead - and have a wonderful, wonderful Thanksgiving!

*I’d call that “Indian giving” but that’s especially weird on Thanksgiving when Native Americans saved the lives of the Pilgrims.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Mortgage: As Little as 5% Down Can Move You In to a New Home

Opportunity Plus: A New Way to Purchase Multi-Family Homes

By: Selene Garcia

Guaranteed Rate would like to announce a home-grown mortgage product tailored to suit your purchase needs – Opportunity Plus. If you’re interested in purchasing a single unit or multi-family home, Opportunity Plus can help you with flexible down payment options and in-house underwriting which translates into an inside track to the closing table.
In-house underwriting offers face-to-face communication with our underwriters, eliminating miscommunication through email and allowing underwriters and mortgage professionals to address issues on the spot.
Let’s take a look at Opportunity Plus and what the Guaranteed Rate mortgage program can offer:
Types of Purchases
Opportunity Plus allows for the purchase of a home to be used as a primary residence. Additionally, no other real estate can be owned at the time of purchase while using the Opportunity Plus program.
Allowable Housing Types
Single family homes, warrantable condominiums, Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) and 2-4 multi-family homes.
Down Payment Options
Options will vary depending on the type of home you choose to purchase:
  • 1 unit requires 5 percent down. The entire down payment can be a gift from a close family friend or family member.
  • 2 unit multi-family requires 5 percent down. At least 3 percent must come directly from your savings.
  • 3-4 unit multi-family requires 10 percent down. All 10 percent must come directly from your savings.
Mortgage Insurance
A down payment of less than 20 percent will require monthly mortgage insurance.
Guaranteed Rate’s exclusive mortgage insurance product is available for loan amounts up to $801,950 for 3-4 multi-family purchases.
Contact your seasoned mortgage professional for a mortgage insurance quote when taking advantage of the Opportunity Plus program.
Home Buyer Education
All first time home buyers and multi-family buyers will need to complete mortgage counseling, provided free online or over the phone. Mortgage counseling includes:
  • First time home buyers will be required to attend first time buyer counseling to better understand the responsibilities that come along with home ownership.
  • Multi-family purchasers will attend landlord counseling. The counseling will ensure soon-to-be landlords have a clear understanding about the responsibilities associated with managing rental units.
Our goal is to create a group of mortgage savvy home owners and home buyers who are able to make educated financial choices with available mortgage tools. Contact Bill Rayman today to find out if this mortgage product is the best for you. 

Bill Rayman Home Mortgage

12121 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 350
LA CA 90025



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Should You Get a Mortgage Now or Wait? Interview with Bill Rayman, Los Angeles Mortgage Broker


Los Angeles Mortgage Broker, Bill Rayman

Low Interest, but high qualification requirements make this a tricky time for mortgages

Is it easier to get a mortgage today than say a year ago, or three years ago? Are interest rates going up or down or sideways? What about closing costs and down payments? What kind of credit score do I need today to get a mortgage?

We interviewed Los Angeles Mortgage Broker Bill Rayman of Guaranteed Rate the other day to see if we could get some kind of clear advice regarding how to time a home purchase mortgage or to refinance an existing mortgage.
There is also a lot of conflicting stories about whether this is a good time to buy a home or other residential property for an investment.

RK  Is it easier to get a loan now?

BR  No, it’s somewhat harder due to procedural issues, not necessarily because of  qualifying. One thing that has changed is the number of mortgage products that are available. This does allow a mortgage broker to help find a better mortgage that suits the borrower more exactly.

RK  Why is it so hard to get a mortgage?

BR  Even though the credit score requirements have dropped, the debt to equity ratio requirements remain tight and the real issue today is paperwork. There are many more compliance issues due to the Dodd-Frank regulations taking effect this year, and the lenders are scrutinizing every document to be sure they meet the most conservative interpretation of vague guidelines.  You have to have proof of everything you say, and this can be a problem for some, even well qualified, borrowers.

RK  Where do you see housing prices in West Los Angeles in the next few months?

BR  I try not speculate on such things. However, there seems to be a little softness right this minute. Will it last? Who knows?  Based on history and the low number of homes on the market right now, one would expect the normal bidding wars to commence in April as usual.

RK  What about interest rates?  Up?  Down?  Stay the same?

BR  Same answer. Interest rates are based on supply/demand and fear/greed just like any other market. Any little thing can trigger a big increase or push rates down another few basis points. Right now, rates have been pretty stable for a while, and the Fed seems to like it that way.

RK  Then what criteria should a someone use who wants to buy a new home, trade up, or buy an investment property?

BR  That is a question I can answer.  With rates at historic lows, don't fret over an eighth of a point. Decide what to do right now based on what serves you and your family best. If you need a home or a bigger home or an investment, find the best opportunity today and go for it. If those purchases are not high on your list of priorities or you think your circumstances could change in a year or two, you may want to hold off. Interest rates have historically averaged around 6%, so even if you wait and get a 6% loan two or three years from now, you can feel like it is a good deal.

RK  That sounds like good advice. Anything you want to add?

BR  If you get a mortgage now at around 4%, you are almost certainly going to be happy with that decision 5 years from now. And, if it rates drop to 3.5%, we will be happy to get you a new mortgage at the lower rate at little or no cost to you.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Kick Your Landlord to the Curb! Become a Homeowner


Ask everyone you know over 40 this simple question: Where is their largest nest egg?

Some will say their pension, and it might be. Some might point to their business or Social Security.  But the vast majority of folks have their largest single equity position in their home.  For every $250,000 in value, there is likely to be a potential $1000 a month income stream in rent.  Even if your pension is more than that, $1000 a month in retirement is nothing to sneeze at.

But the fun doesn't stop there. You buy a home with a $1000 a month mortgage in 2015, and 15 years from now the mortgage is still $1000 a month. Did that every happen with your landlord. Not a chance.

When you rent, a landlord can send you packing anytime they feel like it (assuming the lease allows or they are willing to break the lease.) Maybe they want to knock down the building an use it for another purpose. Maybe they want to convert to condos. That can't happen when you own.

Are you tired of the nasty, old fashioned kitchen in your apartment? Do you love communal clothes washing? And then there are those neighbors. Do you go for a lower floor and have noise above? Or do you go for an upper floor and tip toe around. Does grandpa next door have a hearing problem, and you get to listen to his TV at 5:00 AM?

I've always hated the idea of forced savings. I'm a big boy. I'll save. Not! I saved through the company 401k, my life insurance, and my home. All "forced" savings. Maybe you are good at putting that 10% aside every month, and never using it for a large, important expense.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

5 More Ways to Save $52,000 on your Mortgage Interest


Digging a Little Deeper to Lower Your Personal Overhead

The other day we suggested that you could easily cut your budget by $250 a month, which if applied to your mortgage payments would reduce the total outlay of interest by $52,000 over the 30 years of paying on the loan. This was based on a $200,000 mortgage at 4%.  You can five those 5 easy steps here.

Now, just to put some icing on the cake, here is a another 5 slightly harder ways to get even more savings out of your budget. Use it to pay off your mortgage even faster, invest, or spend on wild living. As with the first five, these won't reduce your quality of life at all.
  1. Shop your car insurance. I recently was able to chop $350 a month on my policy by switching carriers. We have 4 drivers on the policy, so your results may vary. I went with Costco. You should also review your other insurance policies annually to make sure you have the coverage you need, and to see about savings on rates.
  2. Speaking of Costco. The savings by purchasing your groceries and other items at Costco are real and significant. Costco marks up all items by 15%. What they buy for $10.00, you pay only $11.50.  Most discount department stores mark up from 50% to  double.  So you would pay $15.00 - $20.00. I know you have to buy huge quantities. I have found nooks all over the house for storing commodities. I have an extra freezer, too. Small cost for huge savings.
  3. Amazon Prime. When it isn't a Costco item, why not buy on Amazon Prime?!? Pricey toothpaste, supplements, household items and more are almost always cheaper on Amazon than at Target or CVS. And there is no freight and no auto expense. When you need more, you have a record of what you bought. 
  4. Get rid of any high interest credit card. Use the savings from these other suggestions to first pay off all credit cards with interest rates higher than your mortgage interest rate. The only good use for a credit card is to build credit. Pay them off every month.
  5. Get rid of one expensive, useless or worse, habits. Smoking, buying booze in bars, fast food, gambling (including lotto.)  
There is potentially a lot more than $250 a month in savings in this list. Just number five could be $250 or more for many folks.

You have now saved $250 from list #1 and $250 from list #2, now you might want to invest that $500 in some rental property. Call Bill Rayman for an analysis of what you could afford.

Bill Rayman Home Mortgage

12121 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 350
LA CA 90025



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

How to Save $50,000 or More on Your Mortgage

 Pay an extra $250 per month to save $52,000 over 30 year loan

Now that you have the answer, think about how you could use $52,000. Amazingly, if you just let the money ride, you will pay off the 30 year loan in just a tad over 20 years.  This estimate is based on a $200,000 loan at 4% interest. Now that was the easy part. Doing a math calculation to determine your potential savings is simple. Where will you find that $250 per month could be a more difficult question.

Here are 5 ways that you could potentially get $250 a month in savings without reducing your lifestyle in any significant way.

  1. Call your cable TV provider. Tell them you are considering going off grid or switching to satellite. If you have satellite, call the provider and tell them you are thinking of switching to cable. Watch the dance begin. You are very likely to end up with at least $20 or more in savings. Now call the competition with your new rate and see what they will do. You are likely to end up with the same or better rate and a $200 gift card for switching. 
  2. Go off the grid on cable. Between Apple TV, On Demand, NetFlicks, RedBox, Amazon Prime, and other TV offers, it is hard to justify any upgrades to basic service on cable or satellite. 
  3. On to your cell phone, internet, and land line providers. This gets a bit more complicated, but the cost of all of this is dropping fast. By changing providers, bundling, unbundling, and just shopping, you are very likely to end up saving another $30 a month and improving MBPS. Recently I tried to end my land line service, but the bundle cost less with it that without. 
  4. Saving on your utilities. The water company (at least in California) will be happy to help you cut down your water use. Check with your supplier to find out how to get free or reduced costs products to reduce use in bathrooms and irrigation. Then check to see what the recommended water needs are for your yard. The electric company will help you with lighting and other wasy to save on electricity. LED lights are fantastic and save a huge amount of money. Switch appliances to natural gas to save even more.
  5. Budget. Keep a penny by penny ledger of all expenses for three months. There are many online tools that can help with this process. Once you see where the money is going, you will almost certainly be able to find ways to cut that won't hurt even a little bit. 
 Reducing your interest expense to create $52,000 is based on saving $250 and putting it towards your loan. That is a great way to save and to help with being disciplined about saving. You could potentially make even more money by investing the savings in various types of investment vehicles. With your mortgage at 4%, paying down the mortgage may not be the best use of the funds. However, it may give you the most peace of mind.

All of the above assumed your mortgage was 4.5%.  If it isn't, you need to call Bill Rayman and see if you can save money by reducing the interest rate on your current mortgage by refinancing. There is no cost of obligation for the free consultation with Bill. 

Bill Rayman Home Mortgage

12121 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 350
LA CA 90025



Monday, October 27, 2014

Changing Mortgage Market - Should You Use Broker, Mortgage Banker, or Bank?

Bank, Banker and Broker - What's the difference in 2017?

By: Selene Garcia
As you move through the mortgage process, you may have been inundated with information about the mortgage and banking industry and from your vantage point, a lender is a lender. However, in an effort to offer clear, simple mortgage education, Guaranteed Rate wants you to know not every lender is created equal. Distinguishing the differences between banks, mortgage bankers and mortgage brokers can save you some frustration, time, and in some cases, money.

As a mortgage banker and broker, Guaranteed Rate understands how the following types of financial institutions impact your mortgage financing. Let’s take a look at the characteristics of each:

Banks are typically local brick-and-mortar financial institutions which offer mortgages as well as traditional banking services, such as checking and savings accounts, along with other financial services such as wealth management and investment advising. The law requires that banks use a percentage of their deposits for lending purposes.  Interest earned from loans allows a bank to lend money for many types of loans such as: auto, personal and mortgage.

  • Competitive rates.
  • Physical presence for servicing issues.
  • Flexible lending due to long-term business relationship.
  • One stop shop for all of your financial needs.
  • Conservative lending guidelines.
  • Limited loan options.
  • Lengthy processing time.
  • Underwriting and appraising managed through national channels vs. local channels.
It is important to know bank mortgage advisors are often not well-versed on all possible mortgage lending options and do not have the lending flexibility of a banker or broker. The reason for this is two-fold: bank employed mortgage advisors are not required to attain federal mortgage licenses and are usually limited to the mortgage products their bank sells. Additionally, unlike true licensed loan officers (who are employed by bankers and brokers), mortgage advisors from your local bank earn a salary and do not have to cultivate consumer relationships.

Mortgage Banker
Mortgage bankers are a one-stop mortgage shop of sorts. With access to lenders such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Wells Fargo and Chase, bankers are able to offer a vast array of home loans such as Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA and USDA. Unlike banks, mortgage bankers concentrate solely on mortgage lending without the distraction of other lending products or personal finance services. They typically employ in-house underwriters and loan processors; however in this case, in-house loan processing translates into accelerated loan processing – this allows them to close loans within 30 days or less.
  • Competitive rates.
  • Variety of flexible loan options.
  • Swift loan processing.
  • One-stop mortgage lending shop.
  • Local Appraisers.
  • No other financial instruments.
  • No physical presence for servicing issues.
  • No flexible lending due to long-term business relationship.
When you conduct business with mortgage bankers you are working with federally licensed professionals. Licensed loan officers have chosen to sell mortgages as a career and are well-versed in lending laws, lender guidelines and are 100 percent vested in counseling you, structuring your loan and closing the deal.

Mortgage Broker
Mortgage brokers are federally licensed firms or individuals who sell loan programs on behalf of lenders. Loan officers who work for mortgage brokers facilitate your search for the most suitable mortgage product and structure your loan to suit your financial goals. The main difference between a mortgage broker and mortgage banker is that mortgage brokers do not process any loans – every loan is sent to the lender for processing. Additionally it is the lender, not the mortgage broker, which provides the funds for your loan.

  • Competitive rates.
  • Flexible non-traditional loan programs.
  • No in-house loan processing.
  • No physical presence for servicing issues.
  • No flexible lending due to long-term business relationship.
Interestingly, a broker and banker can be one in the same. So here is where it gets tricky, from a consumer’s perspective, a broker is anything that is not a brick and mortar bank; however, from an industry perspective, this is how the two are defined:
Mortgage Banker: Lends you money using a warehouse line of credit and processes your loan.
Mortgage Broker: Sends your loan file to a lender who will lend you money and process your loan.
If the two types of institutions are combined, the consumer can benefit with a wider variety of mortgage financing options.

What about online lenders?
Online lenders are structured as both bankers and brokers. The only difference is, all of their business is conducted online. You will not meet face-to-face with your loan officer and you will securely submit all of your loan documents electronically.

The type of financial institution you choose should suit your financial needs and goals, offer a competitive rate, employ seasoned mortgage professionals and provide top-notch customer service.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thinking of Buying a Condo for Your Residence or for an Investment?

Buying Condos 101

By: Selene Garcia
While a great investment, Guaranteed Rate wants you to know there are some rules you should be aware of in order to ensure a smooth loan process.

Condominiums are a great way for a first time homebuyer or new investor to enter the market; however, there are some lending rules you should be aware of before you sign a contract.

Lenders consider several variables when underwriting your loan; however, a lender’s main concern is whether or not the condo building is warrantable. Condo warrantability will differ between existing condo buildings and newly constructed condo buildings.

When addressing the warrantability of a condo building, the lender wants to know:

About any pending lawsuits against the association. A lawsuit is a red flag and you should quickly learn the details of the lawsuit before signing any contract or making any offers. As a general rule, slip and fall suits along with foreclosure suits will not kill your loan. Structural defect suits are an issue and before proceeding you should talk with your mortgage professional.
No lawsuits = Warrantable Condo Building

How many units are rented to non-owners. In the case of rental percentages, there is a difference between a new condo building and an established condo building.
A new condo building requires at least fifty-one percent of the units are sold to owner occupants and forty-nine percent can be rented units.
Established projects will in excess of forty-nine percent rental units, provided, you are occupying the unit you are purchasing.

Within the allowable occupied/rental percentages = Warrantable Condo Building
If the building allows blanket mortgages. Blanket mortgages cover two units under one mortgage. This is typically not an accepted practice; however, you should speak with your mortgage professional as there are many components and you may be within the guidelines.

Association does not allow blanket mortgages = Warrantable Condo Building
How much money does the association’s reserve fund contain.  If you are putting less than twenty-percent down, the lender will want to review the association’s annual budget. The lender wants to ensure the association has savings (or reserves); the requirement is ten-percent of the budgeted annual income.

Association has required reserves = Warrantable Condo Building
While the height of the condo building has no bearing on warrantability, its best to let your mortgage professional know your preference. Some lenders prefer not to lend in projects that are too high (more than 8 stories) or contain too few units.

 When shopping for a condo, be sure and ask the seller about pending lawsuits, rental occupants, blanket mortgages and the association’s reserve fund.  It’s better to know whether or not you are looking at a viable building to purchase in or if you should move on to the next.

Ready to look into a condo purchase? Interest rates are back in the historic low category again this week. You can buy a $300,000 condo today with $60,000 down and have total mortgage cost at under $1200 a month.

Bill Rayman Home Mortgage

12121 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 350
LA CA 90025



Monday, October 20, 2014

30 Year Fixed Mortgage Rates Dance Under 4% Again

Rates at 7:30 October 20, 2014

Demand for Mortgages Slips, Supply Improves, Interest Rates Tumble

You would have to dig deep to find a single prognosticator who would have predicted mortgage interest rates at under 4% again in late 2014. In fact, most would have suggested that the under 4% phenomenon was a once in a lifetime experience that would never repeat again. The pundits got it very, very wrong, and that has created an opportunity for many, many homeowners and those who would like to be. 

You see, the reason mortgage rates are slipping is easy to see. Home buying is down. Inventories are up. Prices are slipping. The Fed is still nervous about the frail so-called recovery, and financial institutions are sitting on piles of cash. Net result is too much money chasing too few mortgage applications. You are the potential winner of the trend.

If you are contemplating purchasing a home or condo for your residence or for investment, the next 5 months are likely to see the coming together of a perfect storm in your favor. If you are considering refinancing because your current loan is at 4.5% or higher, now is the time to get your application started. 


Bill Rayman Home Mortgage

12121 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 350
LA CA 90025



Friday, October 10, 2014

Renting Better than Owning? Maybe - If Not for *#!!X#! Landlords


After 50 years of reform, landlords still hold most of the cards

According to a bunch of punditry over the past six months, Millennials are questioning whether they will every buy a home. They've just witnessed their parents and friends get wiped out by the housing crash, prices in many neighborhoods seem beyond the pale, and job insecurity is a major fear. Some even like the idea that they are not going to be surprised by major roofing, plumbing, or other upkeep expenses that come with home ownership.

On the other hand! Try to find any of these folks who really like their landlord. I know one poor soul who seemed to have a great relationship with her 70+ widow landlord. Sure the old gal wasn't quick to make repairs, and was not remotely gracious about late rent, but she seemed sweet and honest.

That all changed when it came time to return the deposit after the move out. The landlord charged $135 to remove a coat rack and curtain rod that had been left as a courtesy to the next tenant, who later decided not to keep them. There was another charge for carpet cleaning, even though the carpet had been meticulously spot cleaned and all that was cleaned would fall under normal wear and tear.

And this was a friendly landlord who was otherwise a decent owner. The point of the story was not to show a horror tale, but to show that the downside of renting is the almost certainty of painful and expensive transactions with the landlord.

Sure, this tenant had the potential to arbitrate or sue in small claims, but most landlords know that the cost in time and money to pursue a few hundred dollars on the deposit is going to keep most tenants from acting.

My suspicion is that most millennials will tire of living under the thumb of difficult owners, and eventually see the benefit of controlling their own destiny. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Los Angeles Real Estate Market - From So So to Fizzle - Except Rents

Fall sees lowered demand, fewer sales, lower prices, fewer mortgages

No one who watches the real estate market will be shocked to see fewer unit sales and overall activity in September than in July. School decisions still drive a lot of buying, and if you haven't moved into your favorite school district by mid August, you are likely to stay put until next summer.

What caught the pundits by surprise was how lackluster the summer turned out to be. Sellers were lowering prices by mid season and still the homes didn't move. While far to early to call a trend, there is plenty of evidence that Los Angeles prices are off by around 10% from highs of Spring 2014.

What are the culprits?
  • Middle class left behind in the Obama Economy
  • Young folks saddled with massive college debt
  • Family formation starting later
  • Millenials choosing to stay flexible in this job market by renting
  • Less interest in home ownership by millenials
  • Fear that economic doldrums may take us back to recession
  • International conflicts
On the other hand:
  • Rents are going higher by 7% or more in 2014
  • Mortgage rates are still at historic lows
  • Mortgages are getting easier to get
  • Home prices after dropping are more affordable
Will the good news outweigh the bad and get a countercyclical buying upturn going before Christmas? Nothing points that way at the moment. However, if the economy stays the course through the winter into Spring, there might be some pent up demand to drive folks into the market. There is also a great likelihood that current expected Fed tightening will result in higher mortgage interest rates. This commonly creates a last chance panic that might help to spur sales. As noted elsewhere, while consumers will work hard to save 1/8th of a point on their mortgage, the monthly increase in the payment for a $500,000 loan is $400 or so per month for a full percent rise in the interest rate. Many, including Goldman Sachs, would say that 5% loans are likely within 12 months.

Could this be the last best chance to purchase a home in LA? Maybe the bottom will come in December or February. Maybe the country will slide into recession again, and prices will go down even further. However, unless there is a long term fundamental change in the American way of thinking about housing, eventually the market will move upward again. If you are thinking about getting a home, playing the real estate market may be less important than finding a solid deal that you can afford. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mortgage Qualifications Are Getting Easier - But Not the Hoops


The paperwork requirements are still draconian for mortgages

No matter who you believe regarding the economic recovery, no one is claiming that housing has recovered as of this writing. Home prices are up, interest rates remain low, but overall transactions and new home starts remain very depressed. With fewer mortgages for both purchase and refinance being written, the supply demand curve is forcing financial institutions to modify their rules.

While no one thinks we are going back to the crazy Wild West rules of the mid 2000's, regulators and banks who tightened lending standards in reaction to the busted housing bubble, went much to far. Sanity is returning as the pendulum swings back towards the middle. In just the last few months for instance, credit score requirements have dropped from 640 to 600 at FHA, and some lenders are accepting 620 credit scores on conventional loans.

According to TheMortgageReports.com
23.9% of banks reported an easing of mortgage loan standards during this year's second quarter -- more than twice the percentage from earlier this year. Banks are reducing FICO requirements, lowering qualification hurdles, and bringing more loans to closing.
That's the good news. What has not changed is that your paperwork needs to be perfect! Underwriters for the banks and for the insurance companies are driving mortgage brokers and consumers nuts with their demands for details. However, if you are willing to live through a bit of frustration, now may be the best time in a decade to apply for a mortgage.

We will do our best to limit your frustrations by anticipating the paperwork and helping you to get it done right. Call today and we will help you with any questions you have, and help you make smart decisions with regard to the mortgage that will be best for you at this time.

Bill Rayman Home Mortgage

12121 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 350
LA CA 90025



Saturday, September 6, 2014

When Can I Get a Mortgage After a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?


FHA rules require that you wait two years for a mortgage after Chapter 7

The medical bills piled higher and higher. The credit cards were maxed out, and because we'd missed some payments, they were now charging 24% interest. A consultant explained that we had no chance of paying off our debts within our lifetimes. We decided that circumstances like ours were exactly what bankruptcy was created to solve.

The attorney told us that we would be able to get credit right after the final adjudication, and he was right. Within months we received small credit lines on credit cards. Department store credit cards were also available. By year one, we were able to get a car lease, even though the upfront needed to be higher than average. But what about a mortgage.

The FHA sets the minimum. They have a rule that requires you to wait two years. Most lending institutions and other suppliers of premium mortgage insurance are going to require at least this two year standard.

Your credit report will be the next obstacle. In 2014 the banks and other mortgage lenders are requiring a 620 minimum credit score and FHA loans can go as low as 600. If you have been building up your credit during the years since your bankruptcy is is very likely that your credit score will now be in the mid 600's.

If you are hoping to purchase a new home or refinance your current home, and you've had a bankruptcy, we are ready to guide you through the process. Call Bill Rayman today to get the process started. 

Bill Rayman Home Mortgage

12121 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 350
LA CA 90025



Monday, August 25, 2014

Avoid These 5 Mistakes and Save Big Money on Your Mortgage

 You can effect the cost of your mortgage!

For most consumers, the largest single financial transaction of their life will be a mortgage. Unfortunately most borrowers approach the process of shopping for a mortgage with less care and analysis than they would for buying a new vacuum cleaner. This is likely because many folks feel that a mortgage is complex and confusing. Thus they allow lenders to control events.

  1. Choices - Like any consumer product or service, you have choices when you want to secure a mortgage. There is plenty of competition for these large dollar transactions. Don't merely use the company you used last time, or the one recommended by your neighbor. You could save on both interest and costs by shopping around.
  2. Broker - One of your choices is whether to deal directly with a bank or use a broker. Don't assume your best deal is with a bank. While it is certainly possible to get the best deal at a bank, you are far more likely to find the lowest cost offer with a broker. The broker will shop your loan with various lending institutions to find the best deal on the market at that moment in time.
  3. Shopping for Brokers - In today's world, you have much more information to go on than just a few years ago. Don't go with the first broker you hear about. In addition to getting recommendations from friends and family, you can now evaluate online reviews offered by Google, Yelp, YellowPages.com, and others. This is a huge purchase, check out 5 or 10 different brokers before you make a decision. 
  4. Credit Repair - Your broker should be able to help you make some decisions about fixing your credit in order to improve your score. Unless your credit score is perfect, don't assume you can't make it better. In some cases, it may be worth spending a little money with a reputable credit repair company in order to improve your score. You may save substantial interest and/or costs for premium mortgage insurance over the life of the loan by increasing your score just a few points. 
  5. Lock Your Rate - During the course of your escrow, interest rates will fluctuate, if even just a few basis points. Don't expect to be lucky enough to pick the absolute bottom rate offered while you are in escrow, but do keep track and be willing to spend a little bit of money to lock a rate that could save you a lot of money over the length of the loan. A good broker will help you with this process, but an honest broker will tell you that they are not in the business of guessing the bottom of short term swings in rates. 
If you follow these five directions, you are likely to get the best possible deal on your mortgage. One more thought. Take your time and be wise in the entire decision. Don't overspend for the home, take actions based on emotion or pressure, or figure that anyone else involved in the process has your best interests at heart. The broker is the most likely to be invested in your success. He wants a great review on the internet, and he wants you to tell your friends to call him. Moreover, he only gets paid if you complete a deal.

Bill Rayman has a well deserved reputation for being the kind of broker who cares a huge amount about getting you into the home or condo that you have chosen for your family. His reviews reflect that concern, and he can provide you with dozens of referrals. Call Bill now to discuss your real estate plan.  424-354-5325

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 www.creditkarma.com. 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 https://www.annualcreditreport.com/requestReport/landingPage.action.  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 zerohedge.com, 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 GuaranteedRate.com.  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


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 Zillow.com, 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 leslie@leslieeskildsen.com

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 http://GuaranteedRate.com/BillRayman 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