Author Archive for iRealty Santa Clarita

Not All Home Mortgage Lenders Are Created Equal

Once the decision has been made to buy a home, the first step in the process will be choosing a lender and obtaining loan pre approval. While some prospective home buyers may contact their local bank, others might simply choose a lender from the internet. Before taking action, we caution consumers to be aware, not all home mortgage lenders are created equal.

When obtaining a home loan it’s suggested to choose a direct lender. One with the ability to facilitate Fannie and Freddie direct loans, and one directly endorsed with HUD and VA. Choose a lender that will lend their own funds with NO OVERLAYS on guidelines! Verify your lender is a true direct lender with full control of the entire process, from application to funding.

We know from experience, choosing the right lender may be the difference between your success or failure. Great lenders can often close loans when others can’t. Additionally, you should expect your loan to close quickly and efficiently!

For a reliable referral please contact one of our iRealty team members!

It’s important to verify your lender is really a direct lender and not just a broker. Some will call themselves direct lenders, but often have overlying guidelines on their loans. This is due to having each loan targeted to an end investor and needing to underwrite to that investor’s guidelines. These lenders are usually funding off other banks lines of credit… basically one step above being a loan broker.

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Loan brokers usually work between the customer and the investor actually funding the loan. They are not the decision maker and commonly will have delays in closing because they are at the mercy of the investor.

Also, beware of the “big banks!” They often put overlying guidelines on loans because they want their underwriters to underwrite each loan to fit inside a “box”. This reduces their risks but it can often cause funding delays and other roadblocks.

At iRealty, our team members refer our home buyers to work with lenders we know and trust. We know our lender associates will explore all options and opportunities, and will do everything possible to help our buyers obtain the best loan possible.

If you are having problems qualifying for the amount needed, were turned down, or told a condo doesn’t meet guidelines, contact us for a referral! We have complete faith, if our associate lenders can’t get it done for you, then it’s just not possible at the current time! If by chance you’re not quite ready to obtain a loan, you’re lender can help you with a targeted plan of action. You’ll walk away with a feasible plan and a timeline so you know when to expect to be able to qualify for your loan.

Portions of the information in this post has been provided, compliments of the Renno Team of Wintrust Mortgage.

What Consumers Should Expect from Their Home Buyer’s Agent

As we start off this new year we wanted to take a moment to provide some insights about what real estate consumers should expect from their home buyer’s agent. For those unfamiliar with real estate terminology, a home buyer’s agent is the realtor the home buyer chooses to help them find a suitable home and represent them with their purchase. Often, our iRealty team members do much more, but in general, here is what home buyer’s should expect.

  • Help Arrange Financing Your home buyer’s agent will be happy to help you locate suitable sources for loans. Often the buyer’s agent will make introductions and refer several different loan officers they feel might work best for a particular buyer. The agent can help buyers evaluate how much they can afford and compare how much they may want to actually spend. Your real estate agent will help explain and compare different financing options, provide information on purchasing incentives, and discuss the difference between obtaining pre qualification and pre approval for a home loan. Since it’s the agent’s business to help others buy and sell homes, the informed homebuyer can take advantage of their agent’s preferred relationship status with certain lenders. While this might not help you get a better interest rate, it can be very helpful when the pressure is on and it’s time to close the transaction. Better to have a loan officer who is willing to jump through a hoop for you, than not!
  • Assist in Finding the Right Property It’s almost always a good idea to choose a home buyer’s agent who is familiar with the areas you are interested in buying. He or she will have local ties and a clear understanding of which neighborhoods might work best for a particular buyer. Your agent will pre-screen homes for sale and listed on the MLS, saving their home buyers from wasting time and energy from searching needlessly. Even with access to the MLS, a good home buyer’s agent will pre screen these properties helping their clients to avoid those properties that won’t meet their needs. Your agent has access to confidential information unavailable to the public and will also contact the listing agents to find out more, by asking the right questions. Another huge advantage is, your buyer’s agent often learns of properties coming on the market, before they are actually offered publicly! It’s the buyer who benefits most, by taking advantage of their agent’s social networks within the real estate industry.
  • Educate You On Current Market Conditions Your buyer’s agent will help you determine the true market values of those specific homes of interest. Here in Southern California the real estate market is constantly shifting. Is it a buyer’s market or seller’s market? What may have been a good buy a month ago, might not be such a good value today! Your local home buyer’s agent will know the local market and he or she will be able to provide their clients with exactly the information they need to make accurate and informed decisions. Your agent will have access to market trends, current average days on the market, current absorption rate, inventories and much more.
  • Guide You Through Making an Offer and Represent Your Best Interest During Negotiations Knowing what to offer can be a challenge, but your buyer’s agent will be able provide the advice needed to make an informed offer. Your agent will help you set up your negotiating strategy and customize it to achieve your goals, He or she will provide you with what recent comparable properties are selling for, explain contract contingencies, explain California’s disclosures and be at your side for the entire transaction from start to finish. The end result is, your agent will help you get the best property at the best price and the lease amount of inconvenience, all based on the current market conditions. There’s much more and it would take a whole post just to share everything your buyer’s agent does to insure your success.
  • Recommendations and Local Trusted Resources Your home buyer’s agent will always be your advocate and trusted advisor during the entire process. They will have an array of local trusted resources often needed when purchasing a home. He or she will have recommendations for inspectors, lenders, attorneys, accountants and other professionals as needed. Your agent will keep a watch on all deadlines and coordinate communications between the listing agent, lender, escrow officer, and everyone involved in the home sales process. Your agent will accompany you on your final walk-through prior to closing to make sure the property is in the same condition as when your offer was accepted.

Our iRealty Our Team of Agents Remain Your Life-Long Trusted Advisor

Our team here at iRealty really do care and our primary goal is to be your local real estate resource for life! We love our local community and are 100% committed to doing our part to help others, especially those persons less fortunate than ourselves. Please feel free to stop by our office anytime for a short chat and a quick cup of coffee or beverage.

We hope you found this information helpful and have a better understanding about What Consumers Should Expect from Their Home Buyer’s Agent.

Advantages of Buying or Selling Homes During the Holidays

Benefits-to-buying-your-home-during-the-holidays

Homes for Sale During the Holidays!

Before we get started with our 2015 predictions and resolutions, let’s go over the advantages of buying or selling homes during the holidays. Traditionally, during the holiday season home sales activity slows. As most of us become focused on our holiday activities, less motivated home buyers and sellers often wait until after the first of the year to move forward with their real estate business. This is not true for everyone and in fact, the holidays present some outstanding opportunities for motivated home buyers or sellers. Below we offer some facts about home sales during the holiday season. Also, should you have any questions please contact one of our iRealty team members!

Advantages of Selling a Home During the Holidays

  • More Serious Home Buyers – Home sellers can look forward to more motivated buyers during the holidays. Prospective home buyers may be relocating for their new jobs, and may even have an end of the year relocation deadline to meet.
  • Less Window Shoppers – There’s nothing more aggravating than wasting time showing homes to those persons who only want to look! During the holidays this is less likely because those same home window shoppers will be busy window shopping at the mall!
  • Loans may go through faster – Because lending has slowed some during the holidays, chances are your escrow could close faster because of a faster loan approval for your buyer.
  • Serious homebuyers often have more time off during the holidays and can devote more time to shop during the holidays.

Advantages of Buying a Home During the Holidays

  • Less Competition – This might be the perfect time to snatch that perfect home! While your home buying competitors are spending time with friends and family drinking egg nog, the serious home buyer can snag their perfect home!
  • Motivated Sellers – Most home sellers would prefer not to deal with selling during the holidays.
  • Since many real estate professionals are slow, it’s likely holiday home buyers will receive better than normal service from everyone!

There are more benefits to buying and selling homes during the holidays and we encourage consumers to develop strategies to take full advantage of this once a year opportunity. Keep in mind, every day of the year, our iRealty team is always available and prepared to help you with your real estate needs!

Deanna Rivetti – iRealty “iStar” for August 2014

Deanna Rivetti - Realtor With iRealtyiRealty Valencia Brokers Bryan Frieders and Matt Gregory are pleased to announce,
The iRealty “iStar” for August of 2014 is:

Deanna Rivetti!

Deanna Rivetti, also known as the Super-Woman of Real Estate, is a popular and award winning local Realtor and member of our iRealty team! Her contributions to the team and our Santa Clarita community go above and beyond what is expected, and we’re pleased she’s a member of our team.

Deanna is a successful Santa Clarita Realtor and extremely active within the community. Her positive and uplifting attitude is a breath of fresh air and her love for life is infectious. She consistently displays our core values while providing her clients with only the very best real estate services, as they deserve. Highly trained and experienced with a variety of real estate transactions, Deanna represents her home buyers and sellers with confidence, professionalism, and is dedicated to helping all her clients achieve their real estate goals. See what Deanna’s clients are saying!

Earning recognition as the iRealty iStar of the Month is no easy accomplishment and requires more than just sales performance. Here at iRealty we focus on giving back to our community and Deanna always does more than her share. Her persona as the Super-Woman of Real Estate makes the business of real estate just a little more fun, and we take pride in seeing her accomplish her goals, while helping her clients do the same.

If you are considering buying or selling your home here in Santa Clarita, Deanna Rivetti and iRealty would make a wonderful choice as your Realtor. With her vast knowledge, experience, and exceptional track record, her clients will always benefit the most. Also, Deanna will stick with you and help with every step of the process and we can promise, you’ll have a little fun along the way.

Ken Gurwell – iRealty “iStar” for July 2014

Ken Gurwell iStar of the Month - July 2014iRealty Valencia Brokers Bryan Frieders and Matt Gregory are pleased to announce,
The iRealty “iStar” for July of 2014 is:

Ken Gurwell!

Ken Gurwell is an successful local Realtor and is a valuable member of our iRealty award winning team. As evidenced by some of his website testimonials, Ken is well liked and has a knack for understanding the needs of his clients, almost instantly. Ken is experienced with all type of transactions and works with clients to buy or sell their homes. If you’re considering buying or selling a home, choosing Ken as your Realtor would be a wonderful decision and a positive first step in achieving your real estate goals! We would advise though, when calling Ken be prepared to “move,” quickly! Ken will go right to work and it won’t be long before it’s time to move out of your old home or into your new one. He’ll work tirelessly in your behalf and it won’t take long before the transaction is closed.

Earning the iStar Award isn’t automatic and takes some hard work! It requires the consistent practice of our core values, day in and day out. Ken exemplifies our iRealty values and beliefs by putting people first and striving to always do right by them, regardless of the situation. We treat each other and our customers with a great deal of respect, and operate with honesty and integrity in order to build life-long relationships. Ken is committed to enabling his clients to realize their mutual goals by utilizing our “total care” concept. We all recognize our customers are our sole reason for being. Because they come first, our service to them and their satisfaction with us surpasses that of all other real estate companies.

We’re proud of all our iRealty team members and appreciate all of their hard work, dedication, and commitment to our profession. Thank you to the team for all they do, and congratulations again to Ken Gurwell, our iStar of the Month, July, 2014.

Tripp Jones – iRealty “iStar” for June 2014

Photo of Tripp Jones iRealty iStar - June 2014iRealty Valencia Brokers Bryan Frieders and Matt Gregory are pleased to announce,
The iRealty “iStar” for June of 2014 is:

Tripp Jones!

Tripp Jones is a popular local Realtor, and is also the Relocation Director here at iRealty! His contributions to our brokerage and the team go above and beyond what is expected and we’re delighted he’s a member of our team. Tripp consistently displays our core values while providing his clients with only the very best real estate services, as they deserve. Highly trained and experienced with a variety of real estate transactions, Tripp represents his home buyers and sellers with confidence, professionalism, and is dedicated to helping all his clients achieve their real estate goals.

Earning the first iStar Award is no easy task! It requires the consistent practice of our our core values, day in and day out. Tripp exemplifies our iRealty values and beliefs by putting people first and striving to always do right by them, regardless of the situation. We treat each other and our customers with respect, and operate with honesty and integrity in order to build life-long relationships. Tripp is committed to enabling his clients to realize their mutual goals by utilizing our “total care” concept. Tripp knows, our customers are our sole reason for being. Because they come first, our service to them and their satisfaction with us surpasses that of all other real estate companies.

11 Tips on How to Choose Your Santa Clarita Realtor

Here is some helpful information and 11 tips on how to choose your Santa Clarita Realtor. Last week we received a phone call from a local resident asking, “how do I choose a Santa Clarita Realtor?” The person calling also said, “I looked online, but with so many available choices it became rather confusing.” After asking the caller why she decided to call iRealty, she replied, “I liked the iRealty name!” Though we’re always thrilled to receive a phone call about new business from a local resident, choosing by the company name is probably not the best way to go about choosing a realtor. After all, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, and you probably shouldn’t choose your realtor because of their name.

After receiving the phone call we decided, if one person is asking this question, it’s likely others have the same question. In an effort to provide helpful information to real estate consumers everywhere, we offer the following tips on how to choose your realtor in Santa Clarita, or in any geographic area.

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11 Tips on How to Choose Your Realtor

  1. Create a short list of three or four real estate sales professionals, either by asking friends for referrals or searching online. Keep in mind, most people accept referrals from friends without any further action, but we advise doing further investigation!
  2. Do some research and make sure the Realtor you are considering is familiar and active in the areas you plan to buy or sell. Search online for a specific agent’s current listings and recent sales.
  3. How long has the realtor been in business? You can’t beat experience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t choose a new agent! At least you do so with your eyes wide open.
  4. Meet and interview your short list of agents and make sure you feel a “connection.” You don’t need to be besties, but choose someone you feel completely comfortable with.
  5. Discuss the type of real estate transaction you are considering and make sure the agent has specific experience with such. Ask about any special professional designations and training. If you are considering a short sale transaction it helps if the agent is also a Certified Distressed Property Expert or something similar.
  6. In this day and age, it really is important to verify the agent is up to date with current technologies and innovations for real estate.
  7. If planning to sell a home, ask the agent about the types of marketing plans they offer. Do they advertise on social media? Do a search at the most popular social media networks and check on the agent’s current status.
  8. If buying a home, make sure the realtor offers free online home search tools and access to the MLS. Even better, you’ll want an agent with a home search app. This will enable you to easily communicate about specific property listings.
  9. A good real estate agent provides accurate advice, even if it means he or she will not get your business at the time. It may be, due to your specific circumstances it’s not yet the right time to move forward with your plans.
  10. Keep in mind, when a real estate salesperson represents you, any contracts will actually be with their brokerage, not the agent. Just make sure to verify the brokerage as well as the agent.
  11. Visit the Consumer section at the California Bureau of Real Estate, CalBRE. They also have important helpful information for consumers.

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Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments. We hope you enjoyed learning our 11 Tips on How to Choose Your Santa Clarita Realtor

Feds Reducing Bond Buying – Impact Santa Clarita Real Estate

As recently reported in a number of publications, it’s likely the Federal Reserve will continue to reduce it’s monthly bond buying which could impact the real estate market, including here in our own Santa Clarita Valley. In the last two meetings the Fed reduced it’s monthly bond purchases in the amount of $10 Billion each. Due to the recent positive jobs report, the Feds are planning to reduce the monthly bond buying to $55 Billion. The original $85 Billion a Month bond buying program started in September of 2012, resulting in a positive impact on our local Santa Clarita real estate market. This is primarily because the bond buying program has held down long term interest rates on mortgage home loans. Though we’re certainly not experts on economic policy and the Federal Reserve, it’s common knowledge how long term interest rates have had a positive impact on the real estate because of the lower mortgage interest rates.

How Does This Impact the Santa Clarita Real Estate Market

As a real estate brokerage it’s important we keep our friends and clients updated on any news with potential to impact home values or lending rates. Apparently, as the jobs and employment improve, the Feds will continue to reduce the monthly bond buying. This will inevitably result in higher interest rates for long term home mortgages. Money will be harder to come by and the cost to get that money will become more expensive. How will this affect local home sellers and buyers? Long term, it will depend on how high interest rates rise. Short term, this could result in a flurry of home sales. In the scramble for buyers to purchase property while they still can and while interest rates are still low, home prices could rise. Eventually, things will settle down and level off, but it’s difficult to determine where that point will be.

Planning Ahead

Though it’s not possible to make exact future predictions we do know, for every action the Fed takes there is a reaction. The reason mortgage interest rates have remained low is due to the Feds buying billions in bonds. As they reduce their bond buying, mortgage rates will rise. The bottom line is, if you’re planning to sell or buy a Santa Clarita home it’s time to keep a close eye on what the Feds are doing with bond buying and how those actions are impacting mortgage rates or real estate market.

Questions?

Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions, or if you would like more information regarding this topic, Feds Reducing Bond Buying – Impact Santa Clarita Real Estate.

When Buying a Home It’s Best to Start at the Beginning

When it’s finally time to buy a home, it’s always best to start at the beginning. When entering the real estate market, prospective home buyers start their quest by searching homes online, flipping through home magazines or even take an occasional glance at a newspaper. Some drive around interesting neighborhoods, endlessly searching for homes that might be suitable for their needs. Even though this methodology seems like the obvious first steps to buying a home, it really is the least effective way to get started! We can help you make better use of your time and get the job done faster!

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Select an iRealty Team Member for Representation
The best decision any prospective home buyer can make is to choose iRealty, and start at the beginning. The first step to home buying is to select an iRealty team member as your personal home buying expert representative. Keep in mind, home buyer representation cost the home buyer nothing! The Realtor is paid their commission by the home seller, upon close of escrow. That being so, there’s never any financial reason for our home buyers not to obtain this critical representation.

Obtain Lender Approval
Next on the list is to obtain pre-approval or pre-qualification by a reputable lender. Without this preliminary qualification, any offers made will not be taken seriously. Most home sellers require proof of financial qualifications to be included in the offer to purchase. Without it,  the offer will usually not be considered. There’s nothing more heart breaking than to see a prospective home buyer find that perfect home, only to lose it because they didn’t complete the pre-qualification process prior to making the offer. Keep in mind, it does take a few days to complete the pre-qualification, but that’s all it takes to lose the home to another pre-qualified home buyer.

Lender Referral
Unless the prospective home buyer already has a lender, we suggest working with one of our independent lender associates. Since we have a preferred working relationship already in place, it’s very likely there will be less escrow delays or problems associated with the lender. Our lender associates will literally jump through hoops to see that our home buyers are well taken care of. Please contact us for a reliable referral to an suitable lending representative.

Obviously there’s much more to the process and we have much more to share. Regardless, when buying a home it’s always best to start at the beginning with our iRealty team! Choose your iRealty home buyer representative today, and let’s get you started!