Friday, July 5, 2019

I’m house shopping. What do I need to know about mortgages?

street signs (mortgage)

Now that’s a big, big question with 100’s of variations on the answer.

Let’s hit some big ones:

1     The standard mortgage is a 30-year fixed, meaning the interest rate is fixed and can’t go up or down in the future. Commonly, homeowners will provide a 20% cash down payment if the home is to be used as a residence. 25% is common if to be used as a rental. However, it is possible to pay more or less down. If you pay less than 20%, you may need to buy insurance to protect the lender from default. 

      You might buy the insurance from the FHA or from a private insurer.

   You can get a loan for other lengths of time. 20-year and 15-year are standard, but 40-year and 10-year are available. The longer the term, the higher the interest rate.

3     You can acquire an adjustable rate loan. These loans start out with a fixed interest rate for 5-10 years that is under market for fixed loans, thereby reducing your monthly payment in the first few years. At the end of the fixed period, the interest rate is set based on an index, and your payments are higher. The interest rate and the payment is generally reset every six months or year.

4     You will need to prove your ability to repay the loan. The decision maker is called an underwriter, and he/she will look to your income, credit outstanding, credit rating, and other factors to determine if you would be a good customer for them. 

You might want to talk to Bill Rayman about your plans. He has tons of experience working with folks just like you that are weighing their options and trying to decide which is the smartest way to manage buying a home that makes sense.

Call Bill today at (424) 354-5325  

Check out his website at 
or see his reviews at,1,,,

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Should I refinance my mortgage to get cash out for home improvements, travel, or investments?

Eiffel tower and fireworks

Many of us have lots of our net worth tied up in our homes. Sometimes we wish it was easier to access that equity for something fun: travel, room addition, starting a business, invest somewhere with higher rate of return or more liquidity. 

You could borrow on a credit card or take a HELOC, but these have higher, even much higher interest rates.

Since the only way you can borrow money at 3.75% interest or less (as of rates when this was written) is through a mortgage, there are plenty of great ways to manage your finances through a new loan. However, there is a cost to taking out a new loan, so the cost of the loan should be considered along with the better interest rate.

You also want to consider that a student loan, car loan, or even credit card can be paid off in a very short time, thereby reducing the overall interest paid compared to paying for something over a 30-year time span. 

You might want to talk to Bill Rayman about your plans. He has tons of experience working with folks just like you that are weighing their options and trying to decide which is the smartest way to manage finances and still have the money to do fun things. 

Call Bill today at (424) 354-5325  

Check out his website at or see his reviews at,1,,,


Friday, June 14, 2019

Five Fantastic Opportunities for You Now that 30-year Fixed Mortgage Interest Rates Are Under 4% Again

Mortgage rates 2019

Mortgage Rates Down 1% in 2019. Fed Is Signalling Even Lower Rates Ahead

No one, not a single pundit, predicted in 2018 that we would have falling interest rates this year. But truth is often stranger than fiction. Today we have rates that are, on average, one point lower than they were just seven months ago at 3.85 vs 5.05. To make matters even more interesting, the market currently believes that the Federal Reserve is going to cut rates once or twice before the end of 2019 or early 2020. We could be on our way to 3.5%, 30-year fixed rates.

How might this effect you and your plans:

1.     If you are planning to buy a home, this may be a really good time. We have just found out how inexact the science can be when it comes to predicting future rates. Many are now predicting that rates will stay low for quite some time, but it doesn’t take much to turn that corner again.
2.     If you are planning to sell your home or other residential property, the buyers have more buying power, by a lot. You are much more likely to have more traffic, and your traffic will qualify for more home than they would have six months ago. This means you are likely to get more for your home.
3.     If you bought a home between January of 2018 and March of 2019, you may be able to refinance that purchase and save. Generally, if you can shave even ½%, you can benefit from refinancing your loan.
4.     If you have current debt from credit cards, cars, student loans, Hero loans, or other debt with an interest rate above 7%, it may be to your benefit to consolidate your debt in a refinance of your entire loan, rather than using a HELOC. This will be especially true if your current mortgage interest rate is above 4.25 and you have outstanding debts of $25,000 or more.
5.     If you are over 62, you may want to consider a reverse mortgage on your current residence and eliminate future mortgage payments. You might also consider a reverse mortgage for the purchase of a smaller retirement home, also with no future mortgage payments. 

If you are planning to buy a home, now is the time to pick up the phone and get a fully underwritten loan approval before you even start shopping. Bill Rayman can help you with that. Just call (424) 354-5325

If you are planning to refinance your home so that you can get a lower interest rate, add on or remodel, consolidate other debt, or start a business, Bill Rayman can help you get that process started and have the money to you fast!  Call Bill at (424) 354-5325


Friday, May 3, 2019

2020 Update - Buy vs Rent in Los Angeles Residential Real Estate Market - A Seven Year Study

mortgage rates 2020

With Los Angeles Mortgage Rates Still under 4.00% (March 2020), 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 solid real estate market in Los Angeles continues. And over the past two years the home we have been following did very well. Zillow now says the home is worth $1.2 million. This means the home is generating $125,000 in wealth each year for the past two years. In six years the appreciation has been $550,000 or almost $100,000 per year on an original investment of $130,000 - $150,000. We could stop right there and say the buy story beats the rent story by a country mile. But let's continue with the rest of the data. 

We are only a few weeks in to the COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying financial upheaval, so it may be too soon to tell. However, lets just do a quick analysis and possibly do another check in June or July. 

In today's market, you will want to go shopping for a home with a completely underwritten pre-approved loan. Bill Rayman can help you get this done. Then once you negotiate a price, all you need to do is get an appraisal and home inspection and the loan is just about ready to close. 

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 2017 market was whether you could even get a mortgage in Los Angeles

For the owner who purchased in 2013, his out of pocket is now $3000 per month. He has a capital gain of $550,000 which would be reduced by about $60,000 for real estate fees were he to sell. The gain would still be at least $490,000.
The renter who put his $130,000 into an investment returning 6% compounded would have made $54,407.
Owner out of pocket $3000 vs renter out of pocket $4950 per month
Owner ROI $490,000 vs renter ROI $54,407.

What about making this purchase today?

Rent today would be $4950 and mortgage payments (4.0% on 30-year fixed) based on a purchase today would be $4600 + $1150 in taxes and insurance (estimates). Even with the new tax law, the current out of pocket on this home if purchased today would be less on a monthly basis than renting the same home. (Of course the $240,000 down is not included in that analysis)

Some say that the LA market has cooled this year. But this home has seen an increase of $100,000 since January of 2019. Zillow predicts no increase the rest of 2019. 

Let's consider a possible worst case scenario based on over 100 years of California real estate history. If there is a housing bust, this home will likely drop about $300 - $400,000. But within five or so years that amount would be made up, and would go to new highs. 

If you are currently renting and wondering about the rent vs buy decision, the above analysis would suggest that buying has been the right answer for many years. 

 2020 - The Year of COVID 19

According to Zillow, the property is now worth $1,304,000. This would mean that in the last 12 months, the home has appreciated another $100,000. This is in keeping with the average since we began the analysis. 

The rent continues to be $4950 per month. Buying continues to beat renting. 

Refinancing Mortgages – Now May Be the Time
Mortgage interest rates

Call Bill today at  424-453-4016

Bill Rayman Home Mortgage

12121 Wilshire Blvd Suite 350

LA CA 90025