You have been working consistently for 2 years in the same field.
Your rent is getting too expensive, or frustrated with annual rent increases.
You want to build a real estate portfolio.
You have money saved for a down payment, or closing costs, or home maintenance.
You earn a high income and want to invest or need a tax write off.
You’re relocating for a job or from out of state.
You know someone willing to co-sign or gift you funds.
You just graduated college and are working in your major.
Your debt is manageable.
Your credit score is above 600.
Ready to leave renting behind? Before you start looking at homes for sale, shop around, compare lenders and get pre-approved for a mortgage. Pre-approval helps you know how much house you can afford and what loan program is best for your situation.
There are various programs, solutions, and complimentary guidance if want to make your dream of homeownership a reality. We are available to create a plan that works for you.
Whether you’re a first time home buyer or a seasoned homeowner, there’s a mortgage program that’ll meet your needs. New programs are constantly being released or are available for limited time but here are 8 commonly used options.
California Mortgage Terms
The term, or duration, of most mortgage programs in California is 30 years followed by 15-year mortgages. Adjustable Rate Mortgages have the shortest terms and require borrowers to refinance their mortgage in the future to reset the term and rate, typically to a fixed-rate mortgage.
4 Government-Insured Home Loans
FHA loans are popular kinds of mortgage programs in California for first-time home buyers. FHA loans allow down payment gifts from blood or by-marriage relatives. Many first-time home buyers get started with a little financial help from their families.
3.5% down payment
FICO scores down to 620 (and sometimes lower, depending upon circumstances) are allowed.
If you make a smaller down payment (less than 20%), an annual mortgage insurance premium (MIP) is required. MIP is paid monthly and tacked onto the principal, interest and insurance portions of the payment. To get rid of FHA mortgage insurance, borrowers must refinance into another type of loan, typically switching over to a conventional mortgage.
FHA loans have a one-time, upfront mortgage insurance premium (UFMIP) at the time of closing.
While popular with first time home buyers, California FHA loans can also be used by anyone as long as they’ve not owned or had an interest in a property in the last three years. But that doesn’t mean you can go out and buy a home in Malibu with an FHA loan. FHA loan limits, for one-unit properties, are:
$420,680 floor in low-cost areas
115% of median home prices in the county, or a maximum of
$970,800 ceiling in high-cost areas.
2. VA LOAN
FICO scores down to 620.
VA eligibility certificate
VA funding fee (usually 2% of loan, unless eligible for a service-related disability).
Borrowers must be active duty or honorably discharged veterans (and in some cases qualifying spouses). Unlike other government-sponsored loans, no mortgage insurance is required. However, there is one-time, upfront VA Funding Fee. Like other programs, loan limits apply. California VA loan limits, for one-unit properties, are:
$647,200 in low-cost counties
$970,800 in high-cost counties
3. STATE PROGRAMS
The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) was established in 1975 to help low and moderate income Californians get safe and affordable housing. First-time home buyer programs in California include two down payment assistance programs, each of which can be combined with standard mortgages. Qualifying FICO score is usually 680.
MyHome Assistance Program is a small loan (5% of loan amount) to help offset the down payment and closing costs for first time buyers. The loan is deferred; you don’t have to pay it back until the home is sold or paid in full.
Zero Interest Program (ZIP) is very similar to MyHome above, but the loan amount is 3% of the total mortgage and carries 0% interest rate. ZIP repayment is also deferred.
The interest rate for the state programs are usually double the standard rate, and can affect your monthly payment or loan qualification but is a great option for certain needs.
4 Conventional Home Loans
1. CONFORMING LOAN
A conventional loan is also called a “conforming loan” when it meets guidelines set by Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, two government-sponsored entities (GSEs) that acquire the bulk of mortgages after they are made between a lender and a borrower. One major restriction on conforming loans is their size. They cannot exceed California conforming loan limits, which are:
$647,200 floor in low-cost areas.
$970,800 ceiling in high-cost areas.
In the past, conventional programs required 20% down payment. The combination of higher credit score and down payment requirements earned conventional loans the reputation as being “out of reach” to most first time buyers. Like their government-insured counterparts, conventional mortgages require mortgage insurance when the loan-to-value is greater than 80%. Conventional loans use private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI goes away on its own, over time, as the LTV gets to 80% or lower. That’s a stark contrast to FHA loans which carry mortgage insurance for the life of the loan (borrower must refinance to get out of MI).
FICO scores down to 680, 740 is ideal for a competitive interest rate.
2. CONVENTIONAL 97
Conventional 97 loans are a type of low down payment mortgage for first time home buyers with good credit. Borrowers only need to come up with a 3% down payment, which then creates a mortgage balance of 97% loan to value (LTV), hence “97” in the mortgage product’s name.
3. HOME POSSIBLE
Home possible is affordable given the smaller 3% to 5% down payment requirement. The one that’s right for you will depend upon your income, the type property you wish to finance, and property location. Home Possible mortgages are designed for low to moderate-income homebuyers and are well-suited for first-time home buyers and younger borrowers.
4. JUMBO (NON CONFORMING)
Home prices in California are high compared to many states in the United States. Borrowers here sometimes need a bigger loan, one that exceeds conforming loan limits. That’s when jumbo mortgages come in handy. Jumbo loans are available in amounts up to $3 million.
You know you need a jumbo loan if the size of it exceeds the loan limits posted above.
Find out how much you can borrow, estimated costs, monthly payments, programs, and more. Complimentary loan consultation with our preferred lender.
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to end the eviction moratorium that was placed during the COVID-19 pandemic to help renters.
The council voted 12-0 to approve a package of recommendations from a council committee, following a spirited public comment session that featured both tenants advocating for continued protections and mom-and-pop landlords pleading for the restrictions to end.
The moratorium will end Jan. 31, 2023. Tenants who have missed payments since March 2020 would have to meet two re-payment deadlines. Under state law, they would have until Aug. 1, 2023, to pay back missed rent between March 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021. Under the city’s moratorium, tenants would have until Feb. 1, 2024, to re-pay rent accumulated from Oct. 1, 2021 to Feb. 1, 2023.
Landlords would be able to resume increasing rent on rent-controlled apartments, which account for three-quarters of apartments in Los Angeles, beginning in February 2024.
The city would provide relocation assistance for all evictions deemed no-fault evictions and protections against no-fault evictions for unauthorized pets for an additional year.
Another recommendation from the committee would implement universal just cause rules, requiring specific reasons for landlords to evict tenants in all units, not just those under rent control.
Rent controlled housing accounts for three-quarters of apartments in Los Angeles.
Council President Nury Martinez called the vote a compromise that “preserves the livelihood of our renters while still transitioning from COVID- era protections to permanent tenant protections.”
“We cannot let this burden fall on either side, whether it’s the tenants or the mom-and-pop landlords,” Martinez said. “This policy that was put into place two years ago was intended solely to keep people housed and keep them off the streets. Now it is time that we not only keep people off the streets, but we also protect people’s housing and preserve their financial well- being.”
For the past few months, council members have grappled with those two sides. Housing groups believe ending the moratorium will place thousands of families impacted by the pandemic into limbo, while landlords claim current conditions are different from those at the onset of the pandemic and renters should no longer be able to use COVID-19 hardship as a reason to eschew paying rent.
The council voted to explore initiating universal just-cause rules, which would require specific reasons for landlords to evict tenants in all units, not just those under rent control. It also supported providing relocation assistance for all evictions deemed no-fault evictions.
Tenants also cannot be subjected to a no-fault eviction for unauthorized pets until Jan. 31, 2024. Other renter protection plans were noted as “report backs,” with several council members urging the city to enact those protections before the moratorium expires next year.
Mobile homes, also known as “manufactured homes,” are built in a factory and placed on a trailer chassis to allow them to be moved. Mobile homes are sometimes placed in a mobile home park or on leased land. In these cases, the owner rents a space or leases land, but owns the mobile home itself.
Alternatively, mobile home owners can place mobile homes on land they own or are buying under contract.
Affordability: The average cost per square foot for a manufactured home is $49 per square foot versus $107 per square foot for a traditional home built on site.
Structural Strength: All manufactured housing sold in the United States bears a permanently affixed “red seal” to show that all requirements of what is sometimes termed the most stringent certification process in the building industry have been met.
Versatility: A basic manufactured home can be extremely affordable, families who own an appropriate site can start small, with the option of adding additional manufactured modules as their needs change.
Energy Efficient and Eco-Friendly: Today’s manufactured housing is 27 percent more efficient than it used to be.
Lower Taxes: As long as your manufactured home is installed on your own private land, you can get a lower property tax compared to when your home is considered real property.
Manufactured homes have become a primary part in addressing the problem of housing shortage as a result of high prices and demand.
Availability and Cost of Suitable Land: There can be a shortage of available land with proper access and existing utility service. In some areas, the land is deed-restricted to require site-built construction.
Lingering Stigma of Mobile Homes: Verify zoning restrictions and limitations.
Lender Requirements: If they decide to lend, the end up charging very high rates and offering terms that are not friendly. The alternative to a mortgage is a personal property loan which can involve even more stringent qualification requirements, additional cash investment, and less favorable terms.
Foundation and Land Lease fees: Balancing the costs of various foundation choices and land lease fees sometimes exceed the cost of a stick-built mortgage.
Long-term Value: The market value of manufactured homes depreciates with time, which is disadvantageous especially if you plan to resell your manufactured home in future. In California, manufactured homes depreciate fast when they are not maintained well. Just like a car after leaving its dealership company, the value of manufactured homes plummets once it has left the factory.
Mobile? Not Really: Many manufactured homes are “grounded” with concrete foundations, decks, site-built porches, garages, patios, and lush landscaping, situated in subdivisions with abundant amenities for upscale lifestyles.
Park Policies: This means that, it doesn’t matter how much you spend on your manufactured home, as long as you don’t own the land it is installed on, you will have a landlord.
As with any major purchase, the decision must depend on a family’s individual needs and circumstances. When you weigh the pros and cons of buying a mobile home, the value becomes apparent and the uncertainty of “are mobile homes a good investment?” fades away for sure. Before planning to get your “sweet home”, be sure to evaluate your own specific housing goals and plan the right process for it.
28238 Newbird Dr. Santa Clarita 91350 | Offered at $749,900
2 Car – Attached
Inside & Exterior
Welcome Home to Santa Clarita – Bouquet Canyon Hills within a Top Rated School District!!! Beautifully upgraded home features 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms with 1,491 living space on a spacious 7,164 lot. Upgrades include: NEW Efficiency Tankless Water Heater, NEW A/C, NEW Roof, NEW ceiling fans, NEW automatic sprinklers, NEW Freshly painted exterior, and more! The open layout with NEW paint throughout, includes a wood burning Fireplace in the living room and Nest controlled Central HVAC. Updated kitchen with Granite countertops is beautifully naturally lit with over the sink window providing a view of the back yard, and expansive windows in the dining area. The master suite includes a walk in closet, and en-suite bathroom with a walk in shower. The private back yard features a patio, perfect for entertaining loved ones, and includes a utility shed for ample storage. Laundry with NEW sink in the 2 car attached garage features NEW Insulation for energy efficiency. NO HOA or Mello Roos, this home is Move-in ready!
8612 Passons Blvd. Pico Rivera 90660 | Offered at $549,900
Converted to Living Quarters
Inside & Exterior
Beautiful upgraded home in the city of Pico Rivera, bordering Downey, CA ready to move in! Updated flooring and fresh paint throughout the 2 bedroom 1 bathroom home with BONUS laundry room, BONUS exterior bathroom and BONUS Converted Garage into a STUDIO with Kitchenette and Bathroom. The Open Concept Kitchen is also updated with a bar top counter to host guests. Large back yard all recently cemented for low maintenance and perfect for gatherings. Back yard includes a storage built-in and patio for shade during summer events featuring an exterior bathroom for guests to use when hosting family and friends. NEW ROOF installed, and a converted garage to a studio perfect for additional income, or to have a friend or loved one stay with privacy. So many upgrades and ad-ons you must see!
4) Need a referral to find an agent in another city or state? Please fill out the form below:
Frequently Asked Questions
HOW CAN I BUY WITH $0 DOWN?
The most common $0 down program for Veterans is VA Loan requiring 620+ Credit, and the Calhfa Loan requiring 680+ credit score. There are various programs with $0 down, but will all still have fees to consider. Contact me to schedule a free pre qualifying appointment to see which loan is best for your needs.
2. HOW CAN I BUY WITH DACA?
The home buying guides for DACA are constantly changing, but you can currently use the CONVENTIONAL Loan. To maximize your qualification work towards a 740+ credit score, you can buy with as little as 3% down.
3. HOW CAN I BUY WITH AN ITIN?
The ITIN program requires 15-20% down, if you have the savings ready contact me to schedule an appointment to see if this program makes sense for your needs.
4. WHERE DO I START TO BUY A HOME?
The basic general requirements are 1) Two years of stable income & filing taxes [unless you just graduated with a degree and started working in the field you studied]. 2) A minimum credit score of 620+. 3) Savings in your bank account, at least 3.5% of the home price. Once you have those basics ready, contact me to start!
In real estate, an attractive exterior can make or break a home sale.
Why Curb Appeal Matters
First impressions are everything – at least when it comes to selling your home. 63 percent of homebuyers will drop by after viewing a home they like online. What will they see? The home’s exterior – including the front entry, yard, driveway and sidewalk — should serve as a snapshot of what’s to come when potential buyers enter your home. Read on to learn 10 ways you can wow homebuyers from the curb.
Most homeowners don’t give their roofs a second glance, but the roof is an important curb appeal item that buyers do notice. Is yours missing any shingles, or is it dingy and streaked? A good cleaning or, if necessary, a roof replacement will up your home’s curb appeal factor tremendously.
2: Shiny, Happy Numbers
If your house numbers aren’t easy to see or if they’re dirty and dingy, replacing them carries a tremendous impact.
Budget-conscious homeowners will love this tip: Pressure-washing the dirty siding and deck, as well as the oil-stained driveway and faded walkways is an extremely cost-efficient way to increase your home’s curb appeal. If you don’t own a pressure washer, you can rent one from your local home improvement store for the day.
One of the most common curb appeal killers, and easiest fixes, is to simply give those tall and window-obscuring shrubs and bushes out front a nice flat-top trim. Letting prospective buyers see the full front of the house with windows and all will go a long way toward unloading your house quickly.
Regularly care for your lawn by mowing the grass, raking off leaves, and pulling weeds. Keep it well watered to prevent brown spots. As long as you keep up with it, lawn care won’t become a huge project.
Except for the dead of winter, some types of annual plants are always in bloom. Spruce up your porch containers, window boxes and front beds with some colorful flowers for instant lift. A few inches of dark mulch will brighten up the beds.
Paint is only about $25 per gallon, and painting the front door, trim and shutters is a great way to polish the look of your home. Other inexpensive fix-ups: a new mailbox, a new porch light fixture and a cheery new welcome mat.
If your driveway is cracked or stained or has vegetation sprouting from it, you can upgrade it for curb appeal without doing a complete redo. First repair the cracks and stains (and kill the weeds), then dress it up by staining the concrete or affixing flagstones. If you need more room to move your car or park, add stone, brick, or pavers to the sides of the drive to widen it with a decorative border. Establishing a crisp, clear shift between paved and unpaved surfaces can help to set off a driveway and enhance a landscape.
If the main walkway up to your house is a boring series of concrete slabs or is broken, cracked or otherwise rundown looking, you can easily create a new one for not much money. Cool flat flagstones can be attached to good, but bland, concrete or try laying out your own brand new walkway, just ask a home improvement store for tips.
9. Fix it up
Take care of any small repairs, like ripped screens, or burned out bulbs. Even tiny flaws can stand out against an otherwise picturesque exterior, so it’s worth taking a day to fix them. Walk around the outside of your house noting anything that requires a quick fix, and then get the tools you need and get to work.
10. Keep it simple
Whatever you’re planning on doing, don’t overdo it. Just keep it clean and tidy so that the whole place looks aesthetic and composed.
Giving your home a curb appeal boost can be done in just a day or weekend if you plan ahead and prioritize the projects that will really make a difference. Chances are, your home already has plenty of beautiful elements and it just needs some finishing touches to really look its best. Put some time and effort into it and you’ll be amazed by the results.
Selling your home means making dozens (if not hundreds) of decisions, starting with whether to work with a real estate agent.
Even after commissions, statistics show that listing your home with a professional versus trying to sell by owner (FSBO) results in not only a faster sale but more money for the seller. Here are 6 benefits to listing with an Agent:
1. They understand fair market value and pricing strategy: When you work with an experienced, local agent, they should have a great handle on just what your home is worth in your area, and what kind of pricing will get buyers through the door. They can help you walk the tightrope of getting you as much money out of your house as possible, while still appealing to a wide range of buyers.
2. They’re objective listing experts: Good real estate agents have a deep understanding of their local market and want to show your home in the best light. They also have relationships with photographers and home stagers, who can all work as a team to highlight the amenities that local buyers want.
3. They have access to extensive market exposure: With access to the local MLS and online listing portals, social media presence, professional networks, connections with other agents, and name recognition, your real estate agent can get a lot of eyes on your listing and plenty of potential buyers in the front door.
4. Buyer’s agents are more likely to show your listing to clients: Real estate agents are paid on commission, so some agents may not take the time to show your FSBO listing to their clients, since there’s no guaranteed commission.
5. They’ll negotiate professionally: Experienced agents can spot serious buyers and guide you toward the strongest offers, which eliminates the burden of calls and negotiations with less motivated shoppers. Agents are extremely familiar with both the selling process and your local market, so they can recommend appropriate counteroffers. Bottom line: They’ll help you get as much money as possible. No wonder 82% of sellers surveyed by Zillow said they value their agent’s ability to lead contract negotiations.
6. They know the paperwork: There’s a lot of documentation involved when you sell a home, and without an agent, the burden of making sure it’s complete and accurate falls on the seller (or an attorney you’ve hired to help). Seasoned real estate professionals are experts at the purchase and sale process, and all the legalese that comes with it.
We put your listing in front of potential buyers worldwide, and offer the same unparalleled service to all price ranges. We know that trust is earned through delivering results and that our success is defined by yours. If you’re considering selling your home, or just want to get a sense of what your home would get on the market, we would love to help.