Monday, September 4, 2017

Five Ways You Can Afford a Million Dollar Home in Los Angeles


West LA Homes - Million Dollars and Up - What You'll Need to Live There

If you live in DTLA or anywhere west of downtown, and you are currently paying rent or own a home in a neighborhood you want to get out of. Or if you need more room. You need to get used to the fact that a quality home or condo in a good neighborhood is going to cost you a million bucks. We have shown here and here why these prices are unlikely to decrease anytime soon, and we’ve shown here why buying is much better than renting (assuming the same quality home and neighborhood.

What will it take to get that $1m dollar home, and how can you start planning now to make that purchase?

What income do you need to qualify for an $800,000 mortgage?

The standard down payment for any home purchase is 20%. Therefore, if you are buying a $1M home, you’ll need $200,000 down. That means you will need to qualify for an $800,000 mortgage. Clearly, you can pay more down, and your payments will be less, therefore making it easier to qualify. You can also put less than 20% down, but then your monthly payments will go up and you will need to pay an additional amount for PMI (premium mortgage insurance) through the FHA or through private insurance providers.

For this illustration, we’ll assume the standard situation. At 4% interest, the total cost including taxes and insurance will be approximately $5700 per month. The recommended income for this type of loan is $240,000. With outstanding credit, you might be able to slide by at $207,000.

If you were to eliminate all other debt, including car debt, you might be able to qualify with an income of $170,000. The range of the ratio acceptable today is an income equal to 28% to 41% of payments on debts + property taxes + home owner’s insurance + PMI.

Step one would include getting enough income and low enough debt to qualify. How can you get the requisite income? Your personal earnings plus your spouse’s earning, and/or the earnings of any individual who will live on the premises and is willing to sign on the mortgage. Keep in mind that their credit score must also qualify.

How do you get rid of debt? You will need to do these things well in advance of making the purchase:

·      Sell the expensive car and get by with a less expensive car or other transportation method.
·      Cut back on expenses to make large payments on credit card or other debt. The lower transportation cost will already help. You can get rid of cable TV, eating out, coffee out, and alcohol, not to mention cigarettes. Then review internet and miscellaneous expenses. Generally, you’ll find at least $500 per month that can be eliminated for a while or forever.
·      Who might “give” you the money to eliminate your debt or part of it. If you are already counting on these donations to help with the down payment, you may not be able to double dip here. On the other hand, the elimination of debt will lower the down payment needed, so would often be the better strategy.
·      Liquidate assets such as pension plans, savings, investments, or collections. Keep in mind that taking funds out of pensions will result in penalties if you are under 65.

What If I can do all the above, but I can’t generate $170,000 in income? For many individuals that are looking to buy a $1M home, they are selling a home in the process. The sale of the home may create more down payment, thus reducing the needed income. Each additional $100,000 in down payment reduces the monthly payment by $550, and therefore reduces the income needed by about $20,000 per year. In the case where you have high credit scores and no debt, the income needed on a $700,000 loan would drop to $150,000.

Alternatively, you might be able to rent out the property you now own. Any profit you can show on that rental would increase your income. However, you will need to show that you are a competent property manager and/or hire one, and you’ll need a lease in place.

I have the income, but not the down payment

You can buy a home with as little as 3% down, but most mortgage companies would like to see at least 5% down. This also allows you to use private mortgage insurance, which generally has many benefits compared to FHA.

Obviously as the mortgage amount goes up, the monthly payment goes up. You will pay about $550 per month more for a $900,000 mortgage compared to an $800,000 mortgage. In addition, you will pay PMI of around $300-$500 per month. If we use $1000 per month additional payment total, then the income necessary to afford the loan becomes closer to $275,000 per year, but could be as low as $200,000 with outstanding credit and no debt.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Detailed 2018 Forecast on Housing Market and Interest Rates

The housing market, interest rate, and economy all remain vital cogs in the machine.

For 2018, it's time to start looking at how the year will shape up and what's coming America's way. Will the economy falter leading to a housing market crash or is it going to sustain itself? This article is going to provide a clear-cut forecast for 2018 based on underlying factors.

This is a detailed look at what will take place, how the market is responding right now, and how it will impact the economy in its entirety.

Housing Market Will Remain Firm

The housing market provides hints as to the general economy and how it's doing. 2017 has been a decent year as the economy continues to grow and 2018 appears to be looking positive. The housing market tends to remain strong because people buy and sell houses unless the bottom falls out.

In this regard, the real estate market should sustain itself and stand firm at the very least.

Interest Rates Expected To Move Upwards

What about the interest rates?

The interest rates saw a sudden increase during the election season as it wavered with each swing between Trump and Clinton. While election season is in the past and a bit of stability has come in the White House, a lot of clarity has also made its way into the picture.

The interest rates have been around 3.5%-4.25%.

However, 2018 is going to add a new wrinkle into the mix as rates will likely rise. According to economists, rates might balloon up to 4.75-5.75%. Most of these decisions are based on the 30-year treasury bond yield, and they are sitting at 3%

If treasuries increase to 4% or more, the mortgage interest rate should rise to around 4.75%-5.75% as mentioned.

Bullish Economy

What about the economy? This can become a meaningful indicator for the housing market. If the economy starts heading in the right direction, housing is likely to follow.

Signs remain strong heading into 2018. Most economists are stating the economy will grow making 2018 a good time to invest in residential real estate.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Mortgage Interest Rates Defy Expectations – Five Reasons Rates Remain at Historic Lows


Can you count on mortgage interest rates to remain low for the next year?

With the country experiencing “Full employment,” Fed rates up 2X in 2017 with more expected increases to come, the stock market flying ever upward, we see mortgage interest rates drop.
At the beginning of 2017 and through the first quarter, pretty much every pundit has predicted increases in mortgage rates.

So which way will they go in the rest of 2017 and into 2018? Is this a good time to buy a house, given the high prices and low interest rates?

Here are the five key things effecting interest rates. You might also be able to use an understanding of the trends related to these five factors to help predict the future:

1.     Bonds are the key:  As is obvious by this chart, both 15 and 30 year mortgage interest rates move almost exactly with treasuries. And since treasuries are basically risk free, the premium for a mortgage is based on higher risk with 30 year being more risky than z 15 year. As treasuries move, mortgage rates move. 

2.     Inflation matters: Treasuries and other bonds track very closely with inflation. When investors risk capital, they want a “real” return. That is, they want to be compensated for lending their money at a rate something above inflation. To get $1.02 next year for $1.00 invested this year isn’t smart if the cost of living makes that $1.02 only worth last year’s $1.00. As you can see on the chart, inflation tracks with treasuries and all long term bonds.
3.     Investment options: This is a more difficult item to measure. But consider this. 50 years ago, an investor was probably deciding between real estate, commodities, stocks, and bonds. Today, that same investor has dozens of countries around the world offering bonds, and thousands of companies worldwide offering stocks and bonds. In addition, you are more likely to buy a property in a foreign land.  With all those options, the buyer should be in control, forcing yields up. But, the demand has also increased with pension funds, sovereign nations, and others vying for the same investments, driving prices down. Right now the demand is keeping yields low
4.     Demand for mortgages: Like any other products, mortgage companies are subject to the market place supply/demand curve. Mortgage companies and the mortgage departments at major banks don’t make money sitting on mortgages, they make money originating or selling mortgages. Therefore, if consumers aren’t lining up for the product, the price is going to drop. Right now, demand is very low, as home turnover is light, and refinancing is extremely low. Thus mortgage companies must drop the price to get the business.
5.     The Fed: The Federal Reserve can tighten or loosen money (and thereby affect interest rates) by changing the Fed Funds Rate, buying or selling Federal Reserve Assets. These two efforts by the Fed sometimes have immediate affects on other interest rates, but it is the least important in how it affects mortgages.

These five factors make clear why mortgage interest rates have remained low, and have even fallen in the last few weeks. What about the future? Let’s take a quick look at each of the above five factors.

1.     Bond movement seems unlikely. The economy is still moving up, but in an anemic way. If business picked up to 2.5 or 3% annual growth, bonds would likely increase yields.
2.     Inflation is non-existent. Even with “full employment,” there is no pressure on hourly wages. This may be because many in the labor force are underemployed in hours, skills, or both. There is no evidence of commodity inflation and oil/energy seems headed lower.
3.     Wealth appears to be growing and the options for great yields continue to be a chimera. The aging of most populations in the world and especially in the US would account for much of this wealth growth. It is also clear that home value increases and the stock market records are producing huge amounts of wealth that need reinvestment.
4.     Mortgage demand is unlikely to rebound. There are few existing homes for sale in most US markets and very little new construction. Most who would refinance to get lower rates have already done this. Refinancing for cash, consolidation, etc., seems to be at a very low ebb. That could create more demand in the future if homeowners decide to use some of the equity they’ve amassed.
5.     The Fed is promising to continue to tighten, and over time this has to have an effect on all interest rates. The Fed would like to see inflation at around 2% which would also likely impact current low interest rates. So far, however, the economy has been very resistant to the Fed’s efforts.

If you are planning to buy a home or investment property, and mortgage interest rates are a consideration, you probably have some time to get the super low rates of the past several years. As this is written, rates have dropped to 3.625% for 30 year and 3.250% for 15 year. Those rates are for a jumbo loan and an A+ borrower who is purchasing for occupancy.  If not a purchase, the rate may be 0.125% higher. 

Bill Rayman is more than a traditional mortgage broker. Bill is a financial consultant with regard to mortgages. He will help you get the very best mortgage for your specific needs. He is also extremely resourceful if you have issues that might typically get in the way of a mortgage. Call Bill today to discuss options. As a mortgage broker, Bill is only paid if you get your mortgage, so he’s going to work very hard to insure a positive result.

Bill Rayman Home Mortgages
12121 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 350
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Phone: (424) 354-5325

Monday, April 10, 2017

Should You Buy a Home in Los Angeles or Rent? 2017 Update



With Los Angeles Mortgage Rates Still at 4.15%, and Home Prices Still Increasing, Buying Is Still Better

In 2013, we started following a typical Westside home worth $650,000. We now have data through 2017 and while every situation is not the same, the results are pretty clear in this analysis. Buying is better!
 According to the rental value of that home was $3150 a month in 2013.  The estimated mortgage was $2441 based on 20% down and 3.75% 30 year fixed mortgage.  Property taxes and insurance would add another $730.  Maintenance might be $500.  So total out of pocket was around $3700 in 2013.
The tax advantage in the 25% tax bracket would come in at around $800 month, so the net advantage to buying was around $250 a month that year. If the house was purchased in 2013, there would have been at least $6000 in closing costs. We’ll spread those over 3 years. That would result in another $166 per month.
Rent vs buy in 2013.  About even.
Zillow says the house is now worth $795,000, for a gain of $145,000. Last year the interest was 3.75%.  Today interest would be 4.5%. Total monthly mortgage would be estimated at $3129 now vs $2441 a year ago. All of these estimates are from, and we can't totally rely on their numbers.  In fact, the rent number seems suspect, as it has dropped from $3150 to $3125.  Government statistics for cost of living specifically associated with rental of a primary residence showed a 2.7% increase in the LA area.  Even so, that would only boost the rent by $90.  My gut tells me that rents are up and that the 2.7% number might be more in line with reality.   If this was a new purchase, there would be a slight bias to the renter of around $300 a month. However, if the home was purchased in 2013, the owner just made $145,000. The renter could have put the 20% down payment in an investment and made 6% on the $130,000 or $7,800.
Rent vs buy in 2014. Cash flow benefit to the renter.  Wealth increase huge win for the buyer
Zillow now says the house is worth $840,000. And increase of $190,000 over the last two years. The rent is up from $3150 to $4000 per month. Markets don’t always act like this, but the tenant would likely be subject to these increases and would now be paying $4000 for rent vs the $2700 they would still be paying for mortgage, property tax, insurance, and repairs if they had purchased in 2013. They would also have a $190,000 capital gain on their $130,000 down payment. The purchase in 2013 would have been a huge success. Of course this capital gain would be offset by costs of purchase and costs of sale if the increase was to be realized rather than just on paper. If we used 10% or $83,000 for that number, we are still $50,000 ahead by the end of year two. In other years this could have gone the other way.
The current mortgage based on a 20% down payment and 4% interest rate would be $3208 with another $900 for property taxes and insurance. Add in $500 for repairs and the total is approximately $4700. Tax savings would be $1000 using the same criteria as above. So the net cash cost per month is $3700 vs rent of $4000.
Of course, every house in every neighborhood will have different results, but Zillow has done an analysis by neighborhood that predicts how long it will take to break even on a purchase vs a rental. Their system is not very sophisticated and does not take into consideration appreciation.
We skipped a year, but how is that same house doing in 2017. Zillow says that the house is now worth $970,000 and the rent is likely to be $4000.
For the owner who purchased in 2013, his out of pocket is now $2900. He has a capital gain of $320,000 which would be reduced by about $50,000 for real estate fees were he to sell. The gain would still be at least $270,000.
The renter who put his $130,000 into an investment returning 6% compounded would have made $34,122.
Owner out of pocket $2900 vs renter out of pocket $4000
Owner ROI $270,000 vs renter ROI $34,122
So, what about buying that home today? Is it still a good deal? With 20% of $194,000 down and a 4.15% mortgage, the monthly payment including taxes and insurance, would be $4700. Add in the $500 for maintenance and subtract the tax IRS advantage of $1200 per month and you have $4000 per month out of pocket, just about equal to the rental amount. The closing costs of $10,000 would result in a the buyer paying about $300 per month more than the renter in the first year. But by year three it is likely that the monthly rent would be up another few hundred dollars, and in year four the amortization of those closing costs would be over (based on our idea to amortize them over 3 years.)
After four years of running this experiment, and even with a supposedly overheated seller’s market in Los Angeles, it seems that buying just makes way more sense than renting. We can imagine scenarios where this would not be the case. The housing market is subject to downturns just like any market. It is possible to imagine this home dropping by $300,000 if there were a typical drop in market values like 1999 or 2008.
Even then, these markets correct, and over time the likelihood is that the home will continue its upward valuation curve. On the other hand the market may continue strong and deliver another $100,000 or so in appreciation over the next three years.
A major issue in the current market is whether you can even get a mortgage in Los Angeles.  We can help you with that.  A short complimentary conversation will allow us to give you plenty of direction on your eligibility and what you can afford.  Call Bill Rayman at 424-354-5325

New Contact Information for Bill Rayman
Bill Rayman Home Mortgage
12121 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 350
LA CA 90025


Friday, March 31, 2017

The Federal Reserve and Your Mortgage Plans - Rates Still Low in 2017


Interest Rates Down After Fed Hikes in March 2017

Some might consider it bad form to start an article with the bottom line, but we'll take that chance. The bottom line is that mortgage interest rates have dropped during late March. No one guessed this would happen after the Fed raised rates on March 15, 2017. Almost no one expects these low rates to continue.

Here is the "why"

The Federal Reserve wants to increase interest rates on regular borrowing while the economy is improving and unemployment is reasonably low. They don't want the economy to overheat, and raising rates is one way to keep the economy from getting ahead of itself and potentially causing inflation above the Fed's goal of 2.5% per year.

However, housing continues to underperform. Housing starts are low for both single family and apartments. There is a severe shortage of residential units and this is driving the cost of housing to crazy levels in many cities. The Fed wants to encourage home ownership, so they have not liquidated their enormous holdings of mortgage-backed security bonds. By holding these bonds off the general market, they are artificially reducing the supply, thus driving up the cost. With bonds, as the cost increases the yield, or interest rate, decreases.

While we would expect mortgage interest rates to more or less parallel Fed rates as they increase, this stash of bonds is keeping the rates lower than would otherwise be the case. But that's not all.

"Why" part 2

All bonds, including the ones mentioned above, tend to be a safe place to store your money if you're worried about the economy. Therefore interest rates trend up if expectations for the economy are positive, and trend down if folks get worried. In other words people would rather have their money in a safe place, even if the return on investment is lower.

Mortgage rates are based on bond rates. (There are other factors, too, such as competition.)
The bond market was trending up, as were mortgage interest rates. The Trump effect has seen the market go up 30% since election day, one of the largest 5-month gains in history. The hope of investors was that he would fix Obamacare and create a more business friendly tax code. When the Congress took the "repeal and replace bill" off the table, the market swooned a bit. Some of the money that came out of the stock market made a dash for the bond market, driving down yields.

Now what?

As the Republicans regrouped at the end of March the market settled down, getting fresh optimism from expectations that the Republicans might fear a serious loss of confidence in their governing abilities if they don't get some promises filled soon. Over the next few weeks or months, the market is likely to move based on those two issues. Certainly there are dozens of other influences that could completely change the direction of the market at any moment, but the success or failure of the current administration to do something on those two issues will be huge.

If you are in the market for a home, an investment property, or need to refinance for any reason, this is very likely your last stab at rates around 4%. Call Bill Rayman immediately to get the paperwork going at (323) 682-0385.

An interesting extra tip

If you need to sell your Denver home very quickly, contact They have investors waiting.