In real estate, Resources pretty much means one thing: MONEY. We’ve gathered up a few very reliable sources for the average buyer to get money from.
For starters, the simple decision: Should I buy or rent has a dozen financial variables that need sorting out, and this amazing calculator from the NY Times helps you do it better than any other.
There are several Buyers Advice articles at Realty Times.
Our Advanced Real Estate Calculators can help you figure out if FHA loans make more sense than conventional loans. or how much home you should be looking for.
Get your credit cleared up. FIRST. Do not pass Go. Do NOT Collect $200 until you fix whatever can be fixed first. This will save you thousands of dollars over the life of a loan.
Next step: Get pre-qualified. Home sellers and most Realtors won’t take you seriously until you have a lender lined up.
The Down Payment Search Engine:
Dozens of programs and institutions offer down payment assistance. See which ones you might qualify for. Last June, Down Payment Resource released an analysis of over 1,650 home buyer assistance programs available through state, which found that 90 percent are funded and that 70 percent of homes for sale could be eligible for one or more assistance programs. CHF (California Home Finance Authority) provides home buyer assistance to address the challenge faced by many people, coming up with cash resources for the down payment and closing costs when purchasing a home.
The GFSA Platinum down payment assistance program, in particular, provides up to 5% of the loan amount in a non-repayable grant. (You don’t have to pay this back!) CalHFA has published new income guidelines as of April 2016:
LOS ANGELES COUNTY RESIDENTS:
$63,500 – 1 person in the household
$72,550 – 2 people in the household.
$81,600 – 3 people in the household.
$90,700 – 4 people in the household.
$97,950 – 5 people in the household.
The AmeriDream program offers gift funds up to 10% (usually 3-6%) of the home’s purchase price which do not have to be paid back. Buyers must agree, however, to return any funds that are not used toward down payments. AmeriDream is intended for low to moderate-income families, but there are many down payment assistance programs with no income requirements, asset limits or credit checks.
The Affordable Loan Solution Mortgage from B of A offers the Holy Grail of a 3% down mortgage with NO mortgage insurance.
Free Home Warranty for our buyers. Details here
We have our own list of lenders who have done well for our clients, which we are happy to share with you as well as a checklist of things to do before applying for a loan.
What is the difference between the FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac? One intrepid blogger attempted to sort it out here.
Reliable local lenders: Wintrust Mortgage / Augusta Mortgage / Keller Mortgage.
Now that you have gotten a pre-qualification from a lender, you’re ready to start your home search.
Our FREE iOS and Android App
will get you customized home searches and more than 4 million listings in your pocket.
Our Schools Finder features an interactive Map to locate which schools are located near you.
Our Crime Map from the L.A. Times gives you real-time insight into our SCV neighborhoods. Though Santa Clarita ranks as one of the Ten Safest Cities in America, it always helps to learn about neighborhoods.
We also use the freshly updated Crimemapping.com site for drilling down to the STREET LEVEL for data on 10 different types of crimes.
Housefax. It’s like CarFax, but for houses.
The Housefax Property History Report Includes: Building Permit History, Loan History, Natural Hazard Risk Assessment, Fire History, Property Incident, Comparable Sales & Rentals, and more.
According to Inman Real Estate Reporting: “Housefax lists nearby faults, flood plains, and a list of recent events, like floods, major storms, and wildfires. My report missed a rather recent forest fire that should be on the list. In fact, the fire in question, only two years ago, was at one point the highest-priority blaze in the country. So there may be some thin cracks in Housefax’s reporting foundation.”
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