Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Lovely Diamond Bar Townhome!! Offered at $438,000

Well designed, well built and well located in the highly coveted "Ridgeline Community" of Diamond Bar and part of the distinguished Walnut School District. New wood laminate flooring, New paint, New kitchen cabinets, New Range & Oven. Walk into a stunning open floor-plan, with vaulted ceilings and bright natural lighting. Focus and accomplish some work in the convenient upstairs loft or use it as a private retreat. Washer and Dryer hookups located downstairs in the 2 car garage. Students should be attending Castle Rock Elementary, South Pointe Middle or Diamond Bar High depending on their grade level. Walking distance to Ronald Reagan Park, close to schools, shopping & restaurants, easy access to 57 & 60 Fwys.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Should I sell my home?

Should I list my home for sale? If I were to get a dime for every time a property owner asked me this question, well, I'd be sitting on my yacht in the middle of the Pacific right about now. So, I put together a little cheat sheet that will hopefully help these indecisive homeowners get out of that gray area of whether or not to list their property for sale. 

Here are some questions you must ask yourself before you decide.   

1. Why are you selling? 

This seems like a pretty obvious and easy question to answer. But, you'd be surprised how many people don't really know. Whether your family has outgrown that tiny living room or your kids can't stop fighting over that top bunk. More room for your growing or grown family is definitely one of the number one reasons to find something bigger. Bigger can be better. So I hear.

Whether your reason to list is because of a job relocation, too much sun in the morning, too little sun in the morning, an annoying neighbor, a creepy ice-cream man, or that you really just want to get out of Dodge....you must decide whether that reason justifies moving. 

2. Can you Afford to Sell Your Home? 

I like to live life like money doesn't matter....but, in reality, it does. Bummer. It especially matters when it comes to selling such a huge investment such as a house. So, you must get your ducks in a row when it comes to your finances. What is your mortgage payoff? What is your home worth in today's market? What will you net after you deduct all the expenses of selling? (commission, closing costs, repairs...oh, my!). Not to be a Debbie the Downer, but, selling a home can be expensive. But, luckily, if you play your cards right, it can also be very rewarding financially. Click the link below, and I will send you a "Net to Seller" sheet that will help you determine what you'll come away from the table with (or how many zeros you'll be putting behind that number on the check to the mortgage company). 

3. Can You Make Your Home Market-Ready? 

I know the majority of people have an amazingly amount of pride when it comes to their home. Their home is, for the most part, perfect to them. But, let's be real here. Most homes need a bit of work in order to make them "perfect" in the eyes of a potential buyer. This work may include a complete deep-cleaning. You know those fingerprints on the light switches you've been meaning to clean? Those have to go. Also, there are usually some minor repairs that need to be made. Of course these will be spotted by an inspector, but, nobody wants to buy a home in need of repairs compared to homes that don't. Now onto a more "touchy" subject. You know those half-naked pregnancy pictures you have on your wall that you point to every-time your child slams the door in your face? Well, those have to go. Also included in this list are: undergarments, the last decade's Sports Illustrated collection, those bags of clothes you've been meaning to donate...or burn....and everything else shoved out of sight. That means, get rid of your junk. Or, at least hide it REALLY good. An organized, clean home speaks wonders for its owners. 

So, there you go. If you can justify those three questions and know you can afford to list your home. Well, there is no better time than the present!

Happy Selling!

Beautiful Chino Pool Home! Offered at $550,000


Friday, April 24, 2015

Beautiful Chino Hills Home!! Gated Community!! Offered at $779,000

Live in the beautiful Gated Community of Flintridge! Designer front doors, Flagstone hardscape. Kitchen has stainless steel appliances, convection double oven, trash compacter, ceramic flooring, granite countertops and center island. Cozy fireplace in family room. Formal Living Room and separate Dining Room. Master Bedroom has hardwood flooring throughout and in the retreat, dual closets with built in organizers, beveled mirrored wardrobe doors. Jacuzzi tub and marble flooring in Master Bath. Plantation shutters in master bedroom, retreat and family room. Crown molding in Living and Dining Rooms, Master bedroom, Bath and Retreat. Upstairs laundry room with sink. Two secondary bedrooms are upstairs. Downstairs bedroom has full bath. Beautiful private patio has built in Viking BBQ and a bubbling spa.

Selling your home? Here are 5 Landscaping Ideas.

You've probably heard how important curb appeal is when you're trying to sell your home. The first thing buyers look at when they pull up to your home is the big picture -- the house, the yard, the trees, the flowers. It's the impression that counts, and all it takes is one thing to ruin the effect -- a cracked walkway, dead branches in the trees, leggy bushes.

As you look around at all the things you need to fix or update to sell your home, it can be overwhelming. Many sellers struggle with the costs, the decisions, and the time it takes to market their homes. Since most landscaping isn't permanent, you may think it's not as important as other projects that need to be done, but you should strongly consider putting it in the marketing budget.
You can do some of the work yourself or you can get help. But here are five jobs you can do that help you make the most of your home's drive-up appeal.

1. Get rid of anything dead. Dead leaves, flowers, and trees do nothing for your curb appeal. Snip it, rake it and bag it. As you finish, you'll see blank areas. Fill these in with fresh flowers, small bushes, potted plants or yard art. No Gnomes or flamingoes need apply.

2. Cut and weed the grass. If you mow your own lawn, make sure it's freshly mowed every week. Pull or spray weeds so the texture of the grass will be more pleasing.

3. Replace or hide leggy bushes. Nothing makes a front entry look more dated than bushes with longer legs than torsos. Pull them out and replace them, or if it's more expedient, plant boxwoods or other small bushes in front. You can also cover a lot of blank areas with mulch, wood chips or gravel.

4. Improve both hardscapes and softscapes. Decorative stone, tile, brick, concrete or wood can add a lot of appeal to the softer elements such as flowers, plants, grasses and ground cover. Landscaping doesn't have to end at the porch. Bring color and vitality to the entry with potted plants and flowers.

5. Light the way. Landscape lighting doesn't have to be expensive. Lanterns to line the walk, or the occasional uplight for the trees can have a glamorous effect on the exterior of your home. Lighting provides security as well as spotlights what you want to call attention to -- a beautiful tree, a flower bed or an architectural element of the house.

If you're not sure where to begin, go to your local supply with a sketch or photo of your home and ask for ideas. Explain that you're selling your home and you need help with curb appeal. You may get a lot of free advice that's really helpful

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Gorgeous Corona Hills Home!! Offered at $495,000

Rare opportunity to own one of the few Corona Hills with a view of the beautiful city,gorgeous mountain range; visual from family room,formal dining area. Home turnkey condition.recently upgraded home includes new landscaping,roll up garage doors with windows and customized railing system to accommodate large SUV's,top of the line wall mount garage door opener offering more headroom,wood laminate floors,handmade wood stairs stained to color of floors,top rated carpet with plush padding, freshly painted interior/accent walls,stainless faucets and under-mount sinks in bathrooms and kitchen,scratch resistant kitchen sink,travertine full backsplash, travertine fireplace fascia with custom made ledge, new stainless dishwasher,new stainless Double Ovens, new four burner stove with restaurant quality BTU ratings.The master bedroom has its own standing shower large, soaking tub, Big his and hers walk-in closets high ceilings granite counter tops master bathroom. master bedroom has vaulted ceilings and windows to enjoy view. Also big bonus room double door entry. Shopping walking distance Costco,Red Robin,two sushi restaurants,Starbucks, Ranch 99 Market,Vietnamese restaurant,UFC Gym, Claim Jumpers,and more.Nearby Tyler mall,casinos and Victoria Gardens. Must SEE!!

Student Loan Debt and the Real Estate Market

What we know for sure is that there is a lot of student loan debt out there. What we know or believe with less certainty is what kind of effect that debt has on the real estate market -- both now and in the future.

The total amount of student loan debt is staggering. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) estimated it at $1.2 trillion in May of 2013, and it is a figure that has been rapidly growing. In the period from near the end of 2011 until mid-year of 2013, outstanding student loan debt grew approximately 20%. During that same period, credit card debt increased about 2%. Student loan debt is now the second largest category of consumer debt, exceeded only by mortgage obligations.

According to Forbes Magazine (August 2013), approximately 2/3 of those currently graduating from colleges and universities will have loan debt. The average amount is around $27,000. Nor does this just apply to four-year schools. Of students completing associate degrees from community colleges in 2008, "38% graduated with debt. In the for-profit sector of two-year degrees, over 90% have debt. The average debt load at a public two-year institution is $7,000."

Moreover, student loan debt is, in general, somewhat less than golden. A recent Wall Street Journal article (April, 2015) cites a study from the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank showing that the student loan delinquency rate is almost twice as bad as previously thought. The study pointed out that the official measure is that 17% of student loans are delinquent at least thirty days. This compares delinquent loans to all student loans. But many student loans -- almost half – are not yet in repayment status. Because the borrowers are still in school, or are in a "grace" period, they are not required to be making payments. If you took the delinquent loans as a percentage of loans which currently require payments, the number is an extremely high 31%. (For example, the delinquency rate for auto loans is about 8%.)

So what does all this have to do with the real estate market? Well, more than a few people have noticed that the run-up in student loan debt just happens to coincide with an historic drop in first-time buyers. Since 2011, first-time buyers have represented less that the 40 -- 40+% that we have been accustomed to for years. In 2014 only 33% of transactions involved first-time buyers (2014 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers). That is the lowest percentage since 1987.

Now correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation, but it is also telling that the demographics of all those student loan debt holders fits nicely with those of typical first-time buyers. They are the same group that is putting off household formation.

In September, 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported on a study by John Burns Real Estate Consulting predicting that the effects of student loan debt could reduce yearly sales nationally by almost 8%. The report estimated that "every $250 per month in student loan debt reduces borrowers' purchasing power by $44,000", and that "around 35% of households under age 40 have monthly student debt payments exceeding $250, up from 22% of households in 2005." The Burns report estimated that approximately 308,000 purchases were "lost" because of student loan debt with payments up to $500 monthly.

Harvard economist Larry Summers, former chair of President Obama's National Economic Council, has said that, "A crucial factor slowing down the recovery has been the limited demand for homeownership resulting in part from a slowdown of family formation." Summers believes that the underlying culprit is student loan debt.

But, other studies suggest that things might not be so bad. Research from Federal Reserve economists (Mezza, Sommer, and Sherlund) show that, in earlier years (2004 -- 2010), those with student loan debt were slower than those without it at getting into home ownership, but, by the age of 35 their ownership rates were just about the same. "Our results suggest that for those with college education student loan debt more likely affects the timing of homeownership than people's eventual attainment of it."

And, as to all those scary reports about the size of student loan debt, more research has yielded some interesting counter-intuitive results: there is an almost inverse relationship between default rates and the amount of student debt owed. The research came from the Federal Reserve of New York and was reported by the Wall Street Journal in February of this year. We quote:
"Among those who owed less than $5,000, one in three had defaulted at some point as of Dec. 31, 2014. Those borrowers made up 21% of the entire pool of those with debt. "The Fed researchers show that the higher the debt burden, the lower the default rate. Those with burdens above $100,000 had the lowest rate at 17.6%.

"Why is that? One likely explanation, offered by the New York Fed researchers, is that many Americans with small loan balances are dropouts. They may have attended school for a semester or two without getting a degree. They often don't end up with the decent-paying job that a college education is supposed to bring, and thus lack the income to repay their debt.

"Another possibility is that low-balance borrowers attained credentials such as certificates that don't lead to the kinds of jobs and salaries that a bachelor's degree does.
"By contrast, many borrowers with large loan balances are people who graduated from master's programs and professional schools -- doctors, lawyers -- who typically end up with generous salaries…"
There's little doubt that the growth of student loan debt has had an effect on the real estate market. It has lowered the rate of first-time buyers and that, of course, affects the move-up market. But don't write off those folks just yet. Their time will come.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

What is an Escrow Account?

When you start your home search, you will hear a lot of talk about mortgages and escrow accounts. So, what is an escrow account, and do you have to have it?

An escrow account is a 3rd party between the homeowner and the bill holder. This can include homeowners insurance, city taxes, and state taxes. This is an account attached to your mortgage. Most times it is mandatory.

Every month you will get your mortgage bill. On it, you will notice that some of your payment goes to principal, some to taxes, and some to escrow. You are making payments every month to this escrow account held by the bank in order to pay your bill when it is due. When the bill is due, your mortgage company will send the payment. This is a savings account, set up by the mortgage lender, to ensure these bills get paid on time.

The benefit of having an escrow account built into your mortgage payment is that you don’t have to remember to set aside the money every month, or remember when the bill is due. It is a forced savings account for you, and prevents you from having to pay one lump sum when the bill is due.

There is really only one downfall of having your mortgage company handle your escrow account. If you were to put the savings in your account yourself, you could earn interest on it until the bill is due. A mortgage can be confusing, and if you are ever unsure of something listed on your mortgage statement, it is always best to ask.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Lovely Chino Hills Summit Ranch Home. Offered at $658,000


Step into a Classy Formal Living Rm that Beams from Sparkling Travertine Floors w/Corner Brick Fireplace; Recessed Lighting: Crown Molding; Custom Painted Walls to Ceilings; Dbl Sided Dry Bar & French Doors Opens to Private Backyard**

Formal Dining Rm w/Picture Window & Easy Entertaining from Bright Kitchen w/Stone Tile Counters; Plenty of Storage 

Bkfst Bar for Quick Meals; White Appliances; Plant Window & Opens to Lg Family Rm w/Ceiling Fan; Slider to Covered Patio & Circular Private Backyard**

Remodeled 1/2 Ba w/Updated Pullman, Sink & Hardware**

Upstairs Finds 4Bds or 3 & Office ready to go w/Beautiful Built-In Cabinet & Ceiling Fan* 
Lg Master Bd w/New Ceiling Fan; Walk-In Closet & Lg Master Bath sports Tasteful Tile Floors;Long Counters w/Dbl Sinks** 

2 Good Sz Bd -1 Cute Kids Rm w/Artsy Painted Walls that sooths* 

Enjoy a Balcony View of the Hills & Backyard**

So Much More**Assoc. Amenities: Club House; Tennis Courts; Parks;Sport Court; Playgrounds; Lg. Pool; Equestrian Stable w/Community Riding/Hiking Trails & Surrounded by a Natural Environment**Close to School, Churches, The Shoppes or Chino Spectrum, Equestrian Center, Fwys, & Entertainment**ALL YOUR NEEDS**

Are you present when viewing a Home?

Why do you want to go inside the house or condo unit you're considering as your next home?
Seems like an obvious question, but buyers who do not think before they act, cannot act in their own best interest.

This real estate question should be answered before buyers step inside a property to ensure that the time spent on the premises is completely enlightening, practically informative, and highly experiential of space functionality.

Most real estate viewings last less than an hour. If you're not mentally present and sure what you are specifically going inside to accomplish, you may miss the "value" point and either disregard a poor-showing property or overvalue a professionally staged one. First-time and first-time-in-long-time buyers are particularly disadvantaged because they have little experience visualizing how someone else's home, a vacant property, or a set of builder's drawings could be transformed into their dream home.

Digesting all that a property has and has not got to offer in less time than you usually spend over a cup of coffee has always been a challenge for buyers. That challenge has become greater since smartphones arrived.

Our screen-time obsessions with message checking, picture taking, video making, and trophy sharing keep us habitually distracted. This is a problem for too many smartphone-carrying property viewers, too.

A recent VitalSmarts survey reported that 91% of the more than 1600 people involved had seen tourists miss out on an important moment by trying to capture it on social media.
Since buyers are "tourists" in someone else's real estate, this research may be extrapolated to explain why so many buyers spend more time looking at rooms through a lens rather than experiencing dimension and detail first hand.

How photogenic is any interior without the right lens, lighting, and staging? Shots of 3D rooms end as 1D grainy depictions that tell you what?even when viewed on a big TV screen? Invest time walking each room, standing where you'd stand, looking out windows to judge sunlight and noise, and measuring to visualize your furniture positioning. This information gathering can be backed up by a couple of pics, but not replaced by photos.

Can a video tell you how uneven or creaky flooring is or how slippery bathroom or foyer tiles are?
Practical information gathering should include testing how loudly flushing upstairs resonates in the kitchen and downstairs living areas—particularly in new homes. Capturing this on video may be a greater distraction than deciding if noise levels are liveable.

Taking phone photos to show family members is not be as useful as having them on the tour to add more pairs of eyes to the search for value and cost.

Professional Staging sets the stage for positive reactions which may not occur without decorative preparation and strategic furniture placement or absence. Part of staging ensures buyers obtain good phone photos, but what is being hidden or downplayed? Walking through rooms and viewing rooms from different angles should help you discover the true utility and functionality of the space relative to how you want to live and decorate.

Fear of being left out on social media can distract us from what is going on in front of us. Checking for messages during a property viewing means you're missing out on what you may have to live with for years. While you're glued to the screen, what issues and problems will you overlook?
Looking through a camera lens keeps you reacting to cosmetic aspects that can be altered while ignoring value factors like location, square footage, functionality. Concentrate on being fully present when viewing a property that could be your new home. Keep your complete attention and top-level observation powers engaged and intent on the task at hand. Don't make your mind up about a property when you're on the sidewalk. Reserve judgement until you thoroughly check out the real estate's potential and value.

You understand whether the professional showing you properties works for you or the seller, and how this will determine how the real estate is presented. Ask for details specifically relevant to your needs:
  • Why did you select this property to show me?
  • Where does any unrealized value in this property lie?
  • What concerns do you hold about this property's location?
  • Based on your [the professional's] local knowledge, what might inspection reveal or miss about this property that should concern me?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Some steps to consider before a home purchase

Buying a home can be one of the most expensive purchases you will likely make.   As with most big financial decisions, it can leave you stressed and confused.  In order to keep your home buying experience as positive and enjoyable as possible, you should be prepared!  

Here are a few key steps to take before buying a new home:

Get pre-approved. Shopping for a lender before you start house hunting can be a huge advantage.   Look for someone that offers great rates but also has a good reputation.   Having a pre-approval letter is a required when you make an offer as it will show sellers that you have started the process of qualifying to purchase a home.  Check with friends, family or your agent for recommendations.

Think about what you want. Knowing what you want in your new home is very important.  Make a list of “must haves” and “would like to have” so that you can start thinking about what features you are looking for.  Is a garage important to you? Do you want a large yard?  Do you like a certain style home? There are countless things you might consider when searching for a home. Having an idea of what you want can help the process run much more quickly and smoothly.

Find a great real estate agent. A good real estate agent will have experience, knowledge of the area, and all of the right connections and tools to lead you in the right direction. You want an agent that will be there to help you every step of the way, which means that they will answer your calls and really keep your best interest in mind. One of the best ways to find a great agent is by word of mouth and referrals from family or friends who have actually worked with the agent before. Your agent will guide you through the process and help narrow down your choices so that you can find the home that best fits your wants and needs.

Keep things realistic. Finding your dream home is not always easy so you may have to compromise on some features.  If you have a checklist of “must haves” that is too long, it might be a frustrating.  Expect that a home will most likely not have everything you want and also be in your price range. It is also smart to have reasonable expectations of the timeline of buying a home.  It can take a few months or longer. Being patient and having realistic goals can go a long way.

Don’t forget to keep these tips in mind if you are considering buying a home in the future. You can save time, money, and your sanity by being well prepared for your home search. Believe it or not, there is a home out there for everyone!

Monday, April 6, 2015

How does your credit score affect you when getting a home loan???

Credit rating plays a very important role in getting a good home loan with favorable rates. There are official and unofficial guidelines for determining how credit scores will affect an applicant’s eligibility.

Lenders use your FICO credit score to determine the minimum down payment percentage you have to make in order to get a home loan. This makes your credit report the most important factor to consider when seeking a home loan.

It is however very important to understand the different kinds of loans available so you can have a better idea of which one will suit your needs better. The most common type of home loan, is the fixed rate mortgage. As the name suggests, with the fixed rate mortgage, you are fairly certain of the amount you will be paying every month because the interest rates stay the same for the life of the loan. The disadvantage that you are likely to experience with this type of mortgage is that you may pay more interest than other home owners during a low interest period. In my opinion though stick with the fixed rate mortgage so you’re not surprised down the road.

How your credit score affects your mortgage:

To qualify for a mortgage, you will need to produce documents that show proof of income, credit history, a summary of monthly expenses and assets and liabilities. All of these documents are important to the lender so that they can determine whether or not you are a good candidate for the loan you want. In addition to these documents, lenders will look at your credit report to determine your eligibility for a home loan.

For government backed mortgages, the VA and USDA require lenders to review the entire loan profile of an applicant before making an underwriting determination. There are no minimum credit score requirements but several factors can make an applicant ineligible.

For example, an applicant typically with more than one 30 day late payment in 12 month period or has filed for bankruptcy within the last 36 months is ineligible for a government backed mortgage. Other factors include late rent payments, having accounts that have been converted into collections in the past year and having outstanding collection accounts with no payment arrangements.

Credit scores for home loans:

So, the question you probably have on your mind right now is: What are the minimum credit scores for home loans?

Your FICO score will not only affect the type of loan you can get but also the down payment you have to make in order to be eligible for the home loan. Before you look at the official FHA loan requirements, you need to understand the credit report that lenders use when determining your eligibility. Most people often just use one of the three biggest credit bureaus to get their credit report. Lenders on the other hand use a tri-merge report that they get from all of the three bureaus. If there are 3 credit scores, the middle one will be the representative score and hence what the lender will use to determine your eligibility and down payment.

There are official FHA loan requirements that are set by federal law. They outline how your credit score affects your home loan. Applicants with a FICO score of at least 500 are eligible for a home loan. An applicant with a credit score of 500-579 is required to make a down payment of at least 10% and those with scores higher than 579 will only be required to make a down payment of 3.5%.

Make your Credit Rating better:

credit scores for home loansBased on the information we've covered so far it makes a lot of sense to clean up your credit history before you apply for a home loan. The following steps should help you do just that.

  • Check all the information to make sure that everything on the credit report is accurate.
  • Eliminate any discrepancies you find as they could hurt your chances of having a favorable credit score.
  • Pay off all the existing balances on any loans you may currently have. These one-off payments can be very effective in raising your credit score
  • Try to keep your debt below 30% of your credit limit. This is a good way to keep your credit score up.

Depending on who you talk to or the mortgage product you’re referring to, credit scores for home loans can vary. I know a lot of this information is quite redundant for a lot of you out there. But remember this; we have a lot of young up and comers that sooner or later will be looking at buying a home. If we can teach and educate young people on the proper and most productive way to buy a home then that will hopefully make for a stronger economy. More importantly maybe that will assist in helping our children and our children’s children to never have to go through a housing crisis as we did just a few years ago.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Fixed Rate Doesn't Mean Fixed Payments

This is one of the best times to get a fixed-rate mortgage. A fixed rate simply means that the mortgage lender charges you a fixed rate of interest that doesn't ever change over the life of the loan.
If you get a fixed rate of 4.00 percent, you will be paying four percent in interest until you sell the home. At such a low rate, it's unlikely you'd refinance.

You can see how much you pay in interest in an amortization schedule. The longer you pay on a fixed rate, the more interest you pay down because your interest payment is front-loaded into the beginning years of your loan schedule.

The longer you own your home and pay on your mortgage, you'll see that a greater percentage of your monthly payment goes to reduce principal, helping you to build equity or ownership in the home.

An adjustable rate mortgage is initially lower than a fixed rate, but the loan will adjust periodically according to market rates after one year, three years, five years, or whatever you and the lender have agreed to.

The danger is that the new adjusted rate could become too expensive for you, especially if it adjusts higher every year. Part of your terms can include ceilings that limit the number of times and the amount your loan can increase. Adjustments can add as much as two percentage points more to your interest rate, or as much as several hundred dollars more to your monthly payment.

Rates first hit historical lows in 2011, and have retouched those lows several times since. Any time the national average for fixed rate mortgages is below four percent, that's a gift to homebuyers. Adjustable rates are certain to be higher down the road, making fixed rates a lower risk.
Even with a fixed rate mortgage, your monthly payment can change in other ways.

You may decide to roll the costs of your mortgage into your loan, in which case you'll be paying the APR rate because the loan amount is higher, yet is still being compressed into a 30, 15 or ten-year term, depending on your loan.
Another way your monthly payment can change is by adding private mortgage insurance (PMI). If you put less than 20 percent of your home's purchase price as a down payment, lenders will require that you pay for PMI. Rates on PMI vary, but you can expect your payments to rise by 0.3 percent to 1.2 percent of the loan amount.

Last, your monthly payments can include escrows for hazard insurance and for property taxes. You should receive a statement from your insurer when it's time to renew your insurance, and your lender will divide the annual amount into monthly payments.

Your property tax authority will send you a new statement annually, usually in the spring or early summer. If you're basing your future payments on what the previous owner paid, you may be in for a surprise. Your tax basis will be based on the purchase price of the home. Most communities limit the amount that the taxing authority can raise property taxes every year.

Mortgage interest, PMI and property taxes are deductible from your income taxes if you itemize, but you still have to make the payments. For these reasons, you want to stick closely to borrowing guidelines such as loan-to-income and debt-to-income ratios.

Your mortgage should be no more than 28 to 32 percent of your gross income or 36 to 42 percent of your income including your monthly debts. That way you'll be able to handle any future changes in your monthly mortgage payments

Beautiful Home in Eastvale. Offered at $599,000 - $610,0000

Welcome to one of the most desired floor plans in all of Avonlea. This beautiful Eastvale home is over 3500 SQFT, 8200 SQFT lot, 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths. Main floor features included gourmet kitchen with huge center island/breakfast bar, full granite back splash, maple cabinets with under cabinet lighting, recess lighting, nook, stainless steel appliances, family room w/fireplace and crown molding. Other features include spacious living room with crown molding, separate dining room with butler's pantry and crown molding, secondary master suite downstairs with private bathroom and double sliding doors for backyard access, a surround sound systems that plays throughout the house and backyard. The second floor features extravagant master suite with park view, crown molding, ceiling fan, master bath with huge oval tub, and oversized walk in closet. The upstairs living area has a bonus room, tech center with built in desk, 2 more bedrooms with ceiling fans, full bathroom, linen closet and separate laundry room with utility sink. This home is turnkey, fresh paint, upgraded 24" ceramic tile flooring, neutral carpet, new landscaping, 3 car attached garage w/epoxy flooring, peaceful backyard w/no rear neighbors and room for a pool. Call for a private showing today!

Don't wait to purchase a home

There will always be those who try to "time the market," but there's one factor you can't know -- when buying a home will become more expensive.
Certainly you can tell from recent trends whether or not prices and mortgage interest rates are in your favor. Monthly prices have risen year-over-year for three years. Mortgage interest rates are slowly rising, but remain at extremely attractive levels.

You could wait for prices to fall, but there are two problems with that idea. First, it would take an economic recession to lower prices, which could take months or years. With the exception of the Great Recession, you won't know if you're in or out of a recession until the talking heads online inform you.

Second, mortgage interest rates have been kept artificially low for five years. That's a very long time. With steady gains in employment, it's not likely they will go any lower. In fact, higher interest rates could wipe out any gains you could save by waiting to buy.

Here's a real life example:

If you buy a home and get a $200,000 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 4.5 percent, your monthly payment will be $1,013.37 and you'll pay $164,813.42 in interest over the life of the loan.
The same home at 5.0 percent interest costs $1,073.64, a difference of $60.27 more per month and $186,511.57 in interest over the life of the loan. The difference in interest payments alone is $21,698.15.

If your home dropped 5% in value and you were able to buy it at $190,000 and 4.5% interest, your payment would be $962.70, a difference of $50.67 per month, with $156,572.75 in interest over the life of the loan. You'd save $50.67 more per month than if you'd paid $200,000.

At 5.0 percent, your $190,000 home costs $1019.96, or $53.68 more per month than if you'd gotten the loan at 4.5 percent. Your interest payments would total $177,185.99 over the life of the loan. The difference in payments is $20,613.24.

Currently, mortgages for borrowers with good credit are around 4.00 percent. If you had purchased your $190,000 home a year and a half ago when prices were lower and interest rates were at 4.00% interest, it would cost you $907.09 per month and a total of $13,6552.06 in interest.
The question is -- did you?

There's never a perfect time to buy a home and you shouldn't buy a home just for financial reasons. Buy your home to raise your family, be close to friends and relatives and to be free from a landlord where you get nothing back but cancelled checks at the end of the lease.

Don't put your dreams off to gamble with the market. Think of getting the home you want at a reasonable price and payment as the best way to beat the market.