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 is 6 additional 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.
For a more hands on home search, download my app which works directly with the MLS. Unlike other sites that are open to the public for uploads, and are high risk for fraud, this app is certified to work for agents also. Experience a mobile-first home search with built in chat, share, save, comment.
If you would like to know what your home is worth please fill out the form below. I am more than qualified to give you an expert opinion on how much your home could be worth in this current market. Home selling guide included.
Find out how much your home is worth:
frequently asked questions:
Is there a best time to sell my house?
Property sells year round. It is mostly a function of supply and demand, as well as other economic factors. The time of year you choose to sell can make a difference in the amount of time it takes and the final selling price. Weather conditions are often a consideration in some states than in other parts of the country. Generally the real estate market picks up in the early spring.
Are there important factors to consider when selling a home?
The two most important factors are price and condition in selling a home. The first step is to price it properly. Then, go through the house to see if there are any cosmetic defects that can be repaired.
A third factor is exposure. It is also important that the home gets the exposure it deserves through open houses, broker open houses, advertising, good signage and listing on the local multiple listing service, as well as the internet.
We can now do Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) loans!
Undocumented residents that couldn’t obtain a loan even though they were qualified financially can now purchase a home with a NEW loan program for residents with an ITIN.
What does that mean?
If someone does not have a SS number, frequently the company they work for will set them up with an ITIN so that they can be employed. The individual will then file their taxes under the ITIN.
Even though the ITIN shows that the person has been working and paying taxes, previously they would still not have been able to get a loan because of the requirement for a SS number.
Now, one of the programs I work with has waived the SS number requirement. If you have any friends or family that have been turned down because they don’t have a SS but have been filing taxes for 2 years with an ITIN we can get them a loan.
The VA loan: Better than FHA and conventional loans?
There is a “right program” for every mortgage borrower, but for many, the VA loan stands apart for its combination of low rates, aggressive underwriting, and secondary benefits.
Backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, VA loans are designed to help active-duty military personnel, veterans and certain other groups become homeowners at an affordable cost.
The VA loan asks for no down payment, requires no mortgage insurance, allows flexible guidelines for qualification among its many other advantages.
Here’s an overview of the 10 biggest benefits of a VA home loan.
1. No down payment on a VA loan
Most home loan programs require you to make at least a small down payment to buy a home. The VA home loan is an exception.
Rather than paying 5, 10, 20 percent or more of the home’s purchase price upfront in cash, with a VA loan you can finance up to 100 percent of the purchase price. The VA loan is a true no-money-down opportunity.
2. No mortgage insurance for VA loans
Typically, lenders require you to pay for mortgage insurance if you make a down payment that’s less than 20 percent. This insurance, which is known as private mortgage insurance (PMI) for a conventional loan and a mortgage insurance premium (MIP) for an FHA loan, protects the lender in the event that you default on your loan.
VA loans require neither a down payment nor mortgage insurance. That makes this a VA-backed mortgage very affordable upfront and over time.
3. VA loans have a government guarantee
There’s a reason why the VA loan comes with such favorable terms. The federal government guarantees that a portion of the loan will be repaid to the lender even if you’re unable to make monthly payments for whatever reason.
This guarantee encourages and enables lenders to offer VA loans with exceptionally attractive terms to borrowers that want them.
4. Your ability to shop and compare VA loans
VA loans are neither originated nor funded by the VA. Furthermore, mortgage rates for VA loans aren’t set by the VA itself. Instead, VA loans are offered by U.S. banks, savings-and-loans institutions, credit unions and mortgage lenders — each of which sets its own VA loan rates and fees.
This means you can shop around and compare loan offers and still choose the VA loan that works best for your budget.
5. VA loans don’t allow a prepayment penalty
A VA loan won’t restrict your right to sell your home if you decide you no longer want to own it. There’s no prepayment penalty or early-exit fee no matter within what time frame you decide to sell your home.
Furthermore, there are no restrictions regarding a refinance of your VA loan.
You can refinance your existing VA loan into another VA loan via the agency’s Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) program or switch into a non-VA loan at any time.
6. They come in many varieties
A VA loan can have a fixed rate or an adjustable rate. It can be used to buy a house, condo, new-built home, manufactured home, duplex or other types of properties.
Or, it can be used to refinance your existing mortgage, make repairs or improvements to your home, or make your home more energy efficient. The choices are yours. A VA-approved lender can help you decide.
7. It’s easier to qualify for VA loans
Like all mortgage types, VA loans require specific documentation, an acceptable credit history and sufficient income to make your monthly payments. But, as compared to other loan programs, VA loan guidelines tend to be more flexible. This is made possible because of the VA loan guaranty.
The Department of Veterans Affairs genuinely wants to make it easier for you to buy a home or refinance.
8. VA loan closing costs are lower
The VA limits the closing costs lenders can charge to VA loan applicants. This is another way that a VA loan can be more affordable than other types of loans. Money saved can be used for furniture, moving costs, home improvements or anything else.
9. The VA offers funding fee flexibility
VA loans require a “funding fee”, an upfront cost based on your loan amount, your type of eligible service, your down payment size plus other factors. Funding fees don’t need to be paid as cash, though. The VA allows it to be financed with the loan, so nothing is due at closing.
And, not all VA borrowers will pay it. VA funding fees are normally waived for veterans who receive VA disability compensation and for unmarried surviving spouses of veterans who died in service or as a result of a service-connected disability.
10. VA loans are assumable
Most VA loans are “assumable,” which means you can transfer your VA loan to a future home buyer if that person is also VA-eligible.
Assumable loans can be a huge benefit when you sell your home — especially in a rising mortgage rate environment. If your home loan has today’s low rate and market rates rise in the future, the assumption features of your VA become even more valuable.
Raul & Elida listed their starter home for sale in 2015 with an agent, and after about 80 days, 1 offer that disappeared, and appointments after appointments, they decided to cancel the listing, and wait. Thankfully my friend Haydee referred Elida to me, we met, sat together and came up with a marketing and financial game plan in June. They listed their home for sale in 2015 for $325,000 and were unsuccessful. We were aiming to close at a $350,000 sales price considering the comparables, and the amount they wanted to net from the sale. After some preparations, and marketing, we had our first Open House and received over 20 offers on their home! We opened escrow and for unknown reasons, the buyer decided to cancel escrow. We were all frustrated, but sometimes in real estate… THINGS HAPPEN. Luckily we had a house that was HOT on the market and the buyers decided to cancel within their inspection period so not too much time was lost. One weekend later we opened escrow again with an additional $2000 in their offer, sometimes “bad” things happen for very good reasons.
We did encounter a few more hiccups with the city of Compton and their Pre sale requirements, but after the cities delays we aimed for $350,000 but CLOSED escrow with $370,000… A number we never discussed.
Of course when you’re selling something as important as a house, daily communication is key. After only a few months, I’ve grown to love the Perez and Jimenez family very much! Its a blessing to be able to assist and add quality people to your circle of friends.
BUT somehow, they always think of me when its supposed to be all about them!!!
Thank you Elida & Raul for choosing me, & for gifting me with Raider tickets!!! Yes!
Now my boyfriend and I get to celebrate with them in Oakland on my birthday weekend, because they are Raider fans also!
Ultimately, this is supposed to be more than just buying and selling… the experience should be something you’ll never forget, more than just hard work… its an accomplishment that deserves to feel special.
Congratulations on the sale of your starter home Elida & Raul! Details on the New Home Coming Soon!!!