As our population ages, I am continually asked about the benefits of a reverse mortgage. Since a home is the average American’s largest investment and source of wealth, it makes sense that in retirement people may want to have that investment work even harder for them. As the newer trend of “aging in place” gains an even stronger foothold, tools to make this a viable option must be examined. Jamie Hopkins has some great advice on Forbes regarding how retiree’s can make a reverse mortgage a part of their retirement plan.
This just about completely covers the day I had with my newest buyers. It’s okay because I love what I do. No matter what type of buyer becomes my client, we’ll find the right home. Gotta love the life of a Realtor!
What is a VA home loan?
The VA Home loan was established in 1944 as part of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Commonly referred to as the G.I. Bill, it provided returning World War II veterans with funds for medical care, unemployment insurance, higher education and housing.
Who is eligible for a VA home loan?
Any individual who has served in active duty of any branch of the U.S. military for a minimum of 90 days. Non-active personnel such as individuals who have served in the Reserves or National Guard are also eligible if they have completed six years of service. Spouses of deceased or missing military members are also eligible so long as they have not remarried.
What is the advantage of the VA loan?
It does not require a downpayment and it does not have private mortgage insurance.
What type of home can be purchased with a VA loan?
A primary residence
What is the loan amount allowed on a VA loan?
The loan amount allowed is determined by the area median home prices.
As we celebrate Memorial Day, let us remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our Country and those who continue to serve. Thank you for your dedication and service! Happy Memorial Day!
IT’S OFFICIAL!! After three days of “roughing it,” we are the WORST camping family ever!! We have been camping with real pros before and survived so we thought we would give it another try by camping in a cottage at Newport Dunes. I should have known that this camping trip would not be like most people’s when my family immediately set up the foldable lounge chair in the living room instead of outside. Day 1 we grilled outside but when the coals went out we opted to cook s’mores on the stove. Yeah…we found an alternative…so anyway, I knew we were in trouble when we awakened on Day 2 and my spouse asked me where the iron was. After actually looking in the closet a hot minute, I remembered that “camping” is probably not synonymous with “ironing.”
Day 2 of “camping” took an even uglier turn when after swimming in the pool (yes, I said pool) a decision was made to venture out to lunch off the camping site. I knew this was a VERY BAD idea. Somehow we ended up having lunch at Nick’s in Laguna Beach (we LOVE Nick’s whenever we are near by). While we eagerly munched away, I knew I had lost my “camping” crew forever! Next a trip for gelato at Gelato Paradiso. Who the heck is “camping” and eating gelato?! Needless to say, I kept shaking my head throughout lunch asking my family if they realized what “camping” means. Oh and please do not let me forget to mention that the “camping” also seemed to lead us on an expedition that yielded a catch of Seven jeans and Adidas tennis shoes (wink, wink…we made ourselves feel better by rationalizing that it was back-to-school shopping). After eating and shopping, my lovely crew decided that they would pick up Panda Express as their evening snack. See how much this sounds like camping? And so ended our day.
Now just to be fair, I will admit that I a horrible time sleeping. I heard things scratching in the wall all night and only prayed that it was my psycho imagination, I also became itchy by night number two. Seems that I am no serious camping maven either…but I really was trying! I think you get the picture by now. Making sure there is wifi available, refusing to swim in the Bay, along with countless other shenanigans can only lead to one conclusion…look for us on a tropical beach vacay next year!
But seriously…(well, I am quite serious, but on another note)….I thought about how this applies when people are looking to purchase a home.
1. Focus on the location that truly appeals to you and of course is within your budget.
2. Keep an open mind and possibly find a way to blend a new concept with an old concept.
3. Remain flexible. Even though things may not go exactly like you plan in your head, they may just make you smile in the end.
Who Said Camping Wouldn’t Be Good For You?
Ever had your driveway thrashed after the work crew drives away? This just happened to me. I hate oil stains in the driveway! Next time a work crew leaves you with a “parting gift,” try a solution of hydrogen peroxide mixed with blue Dawn dishwashing liquid. The best stain remover ever! Not to mention it’s great on any other stain you might encounter.
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about priorities; my priorities and the priorities of the vast number of people that I come into contact with on a daily basis. So often, I will sit down to consult with clients on their life vision and their dreams as it pertains to real estate only to find out that these vision and dreams are severely skewed by the very things that are being made the immediate priority. When priorities do not match the dream and the vision, it creates a serious stumbling block. Helping people reach an amount of clarity in this vein can be difficult.
Most clients who sit down with me to discuss purchasing a piece of real estate can verbalize what type of home they want but are not always financially in the right position to purchase such a home. The real dilemma comes when we take a look at how to achieve the stated goal and set some practical everyday tools in place. This is where a person’s priorities will really provide evidence as to just how motivated they really are to achieve the stated goals that will build their future. The person who sits down and states that they can not save money for a downpayment on their home because they enjoy shopping or eating at restaurants far too much is in essence making a statement about their priorities. These priorities can make or break the ability to achieve the goal. This not only applies to buying real estate but anything in life. Whether it be weight management, money management, careers, family commitments, etc. the truth is that your priorities show through in what you choose to do on a regular basis. If you have a sincere goal, it’s time to sit down and be honest with yourself about your real priorities. You may find that those priorities are the only thing standing between you, your dream and your future.
“Action expresses priorities.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
There are a few things every Inland Empire home buyer should know about negotiating in a seller’s market. Most buyers are reasonably concerned with making an offer that will get accepted by the home seller.
A home seller who looks at all offers in a comprehensive fashion with the help of an experienced Realtor, will be evaluating offers on the following merits generally:
1. The price offered- this is a no brainer, obviously. Of course every seller examines the price offered, but the decision is not based solely on the price offered. The seller has also taken into account additional factors that provide for a larger net and faster closing of the transaction.
2. The concessions that were requested- Offers that have requests for items such as termite inspections, termite repairs, closing costs, etc. usually create a lower final net for the seller and therefore, generally, are not deemed as the most competitive offers.
3. The length of time that the closing of escrow was stipulated. The faster the close of escrow can be, the more competitive the offer.
4. Appraisal Contingencies and Loan Contingencies are additional factors examined as both of these can cause delays or issues. The less contingencies, the more competitive the offer.
5. The type of financing the buyer will be obtaining- right now cash is King if the offered price is right! Conventional loans will generally trump FHA or VA loans.
It is a competitive and challenging market for buyers and unfortunately for buyers, there are more buyers than there are sellers. Eager buyers must stay well abreast of the market and come prepared with their very best offer at the onset. The mindset that there will be chances at counter offers and further negotiations should be weighed carefully in the face of diminishing supply and rising interest rates. The market is cyclical in all senses of the word and just like it is a seller’s market today, it was a buyer’s market not quite so long ago. But for those who wish to purchase a home in the current seller’s market, they must make the best offer that is possible when the opportunity arises.
Moving to a new home can be a costly experience. With so many things you will need to spend money on, there are a few ways to cut expenses and save money when packing for the move. Here’s Four Tips To Save Money When Packing For Your Move:
1. Use shredded paper to help pad fragile items like dishes instead of shelling out money for pacing peanuts. Most of the time, you will find yourself clearing out file cabinets or personal papers for the move. Since it is always a good idea to shred documents containing sensitive information, why not make it serve a dual purpose? Now you can clear your files, protect your identity and safely pack your fragile dishware or picture frames.
2. Use your luggage to pack your clothes in. Most people know that they need to pack their luggage up to take with them, but many people forget that they can fill the luggage up before they take it. This will save you tons of boxes during the move and unlike boxes, you will undoubtedly know what is in your luggage…clothes of course.
3. Clear out the fridge and plan your meals ahead of time. One things that you won’t want to transport most likely is tons of food. As your moving date approaches, be careful to only buy exactly what is needed at the grocery store. Cook and use everything that is already available in the refrigerator, freezer and cupboards. Pre-plan meals so that you can be careful to use exactly what you have on hand and do not be afraid to get creative!
4. If you know where you are moving, take measurements of spaces in the new home and measurements of your furniture. This way you can plan exactly where your furniture will fit. By doing this you can also prepare to sell or donate any furniture that will not fit in your new home. By only moving furniture, that you will use, you will save both time and money.
That time of the year is approaching. Yes, there are two things guaranteed in life; death and taxes. But just like anything else in life, adequate preparation can help get anyone through even the less than pleasant of life’s aspects. Sitting down and analyzing your income is one of the first steps to financial security. Next, it is a good idea to take a look at tax shelters. A tax shelter will help reduce how much tax you pay the federal government by reducing your taxable income. The lower your taxable income, the less you will pay in taxes.
Many legitimate tax shelters are available. These shelters include:
401(k) and 403(b) plans
setting up your own business
employer-sponsored health coverage
employer-sponsored life insurance
Investing in real estate is a common and beneficial tax shelter. Remember, tax avoidance is legal, tax evasion is not. By utilizing legal and legitimate tax shelters, you are avoiding taxes and thus may be able to save money and build wealth.
Encroachments occur when one party builds upon another parties land. With many homes that have fallen into foreclosures, many of these encroachments are being called out by cities. The cities are seeking to have the encroachments corrected by asking the owners to remove anything that is built upon city property. This could include backyards, patios, pools, spas, tennis courts, etc. Lately, I have seen all of these home improvements that have come under fire. In some cases, the cities have offered homeowners easements for a set time period such as a 15 year easement. Such easements generally state that the homeowners may keep the encroachments in use for 15 years and that once such period has expired, the homeowners must remove any and all encroachments.
When purchasing a home, it is important to obtain all disclosures regarding the home, including title reports, hazards reports and special addendums.