Posts Tagged ‘loans’

3rd Annual Home Buyer’s Fair

March 4, 2010

It is that time of year again:

LOS ANGELES  – The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) and the Los Angeles Times are sponsoring the third annual Southern California Home Buyer’s Fair at the Los Angeles Convention Center March 13 and 14.

Time: Sat. 10-5 pm, sun. 11-4 pm. Concourse Hall, 1201 S. Figueroa St, LA, 90015

For more info visit:

It’s free, but pay to park.

Real Estatte 101 Glossary “I, & J'”

November 8, 2009

Lola and me

Been in LaJolla for Tom Ferry seminar.

Enjoy the I’s and J’s.

IMPROVED LAND   Any parcel of land which has been changed from its natural state through the creation of roads, buildings or other structures.

Any item added to vacant land with the intent of increasing its value or usability.

IMPROVEMENT RATIO   The comparative value of an improved piece of land to its natural, unaltered state.

INCOME APPROACH   The process of estimating the value of property by considering the present value of a stream of income generated by the property.

INCOME PROPERTY   A piece of property whose highest and best use is the generation of income through rents or other sources.

INDEPENDENT APPRAISAL   An estimation of value created by a professional, certified appraiser with no vested interest in the value of the property.

INSPECTION   The examination of a piece of property, its buildings or other amenities.

INSURABLE TITLE   The title to property which has been sufficiently reviewed by a title insurance company, such that they are willing to insure it as free and clear.

INTEREST RATE   A percentage of a loan or mortgage value that is paid to the lender as compensation for loaning funds.

INVESTMENT PROPERTY   Any piece of property that is expected to generate a financial return. This may come as the result of periodic rents or through appreciation of the property value over time.

JAMB   The side of a door frame.

JOINT TENANCY   A situation where two or more parties own a piece of property together. Each of the owners has an equal share, and may not dispose of or alter that share without the consent of the other owners.

JOISTS   Horizontal beams laid on edge to support flooring or a ceiling.

JUDGMENT   An official court decision. If the judgment requires payment from one party to another, the court may put a lien against the payee’s property as collateral.

JUDICIAL FORECLOSURE   A type of foreclosure conducted as a civil suit in a court of law.

JUMBO LOAN   A mortgage loan for an amount greater than the limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Often called non-conforming loans.a REMAX logo

Real Estate 101 Glossary “G & H”

November 2, 2009

Lola and me!cid_image6I am combining these two today.  Enjoy

GABLE ROOF   A steeply angled, triangular roof.

GALVANIZED PIPE  Iron pipe with a galvanized (zinc) coating.

GAMBREL ROOF  A ”barn-like” roof, where the upper portion of the roof is less-steeply angled than the lower part.

GENERAL LIEN  A broad-based claim against several properties owned by a defaulting party.

GEORGIAN   A classic, English-style hose characterized by simple rectangular shape and multiple stories.

GFI   Ground Fault Interrupter. A type of circuit breaker required in areas where water is present.

GINNIE MAE   A wholly owned corporation created in 1968 within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to serve low-to moderate-income homebuyers.

GIRDER   A main supporting beam.

Any mortgage insured by a government agency, such as the FHA or VA.

GRADE   The slope of land around a building. Also ground level.

GRANTEE   Any person who is given ownership of a piece of property.

GRANTOR   Any person who gives away ownership of a piece of property.

The sum total of all floor space, including areas such as stairways and closet space. Often measured based on external wall lengths.

GROUTING   Material used around ceramic tile.

GUTTER The trough around the edge of the roof that catches and diverts rain.

HALF-SECTION   320 acres.

Insurance covering damage to a property caused by hazards such as fire, wind and accident.

The framing elements above an opening such as a window or door.

The floor of a fireplace or the area immediately in front of it.

HEIGHT ZONING   A municipal restriction on the maximum height of any building or other structure.

Assets of a property which contribute to its value, but are not readily apparent. Examples might include upgraded or premium building materials.

HIGHEST AND BEST USE   The most profitable and likely use of a property. Selected from reasonably probable and legal alternative uses, which are found to be physically possible, appropriately supported and financially feasible to result in the highest possible land value.

Also known as a reverse annuity mortgage. It allows home owners (usually older) to convert equity in the home into cash. Normally paid by the lender in monthly payments. HECM’s typically do not have to be repaid until the borrower is no longer occupying the home.

A type of mortgage loan that allows the borrower to draw cash against the equity in his home.

A complete examination of a building to determine its structural integrity and uncover any defects in materials or workmanship which may adversely affect the property or decrease its value.

HOME INSPECTOR   A person who performs professional home inspections. Usually, with an extensive knowledge of house construction methods, common house problems, how to identify those problems and how to correct them.

An organization of home owners in a particular neighborhood or development formed to facilitate the maintenance of common areas and to enforce any building restrictions or covenants.

A policy which covers a home owner for any loss of property due to accident, intrusion or hazard.

An insurance policy covering the repair of systems and appliances within the home for the coverage period.

Median family income for a particular county or metropolitan statistical area (MSA), as estimated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

HUD-1 STATEMENT   A standardized, itemized list, published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), of all anticipated CLOSING COSTS connected with a particular property purchase.

How to buy a bank owned Foreclosure (REO)

October 29, 2009




Tax Credit Extended

October 29, 2009

Lola and meYeah

a REMAX logo Senators agreed Wednesday to extend a popular tax credit for first-time homebuyers and to offer a reduced credit to some repeat buyers. The tax credit provides up to $8,000 to first-time homebuyers but is set to expire at the end of November. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that new home sales fell 3.6 percent in September, and some industry representatives blamed uncertainty about the tax credit. Senators agreed to extend the existing tax credit for first-time homebuyers while offering a reduced credit of up to $6,500 to repeat buyers who have owned their current homes for at least five years, said Regan Lachapelle, a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. The tax credits would be available to homebuyers who sign sales agreements by the end of April. They would have until the end of June to close on their new homes, according to a summary of the legislation being circulated among lawmakers. House leaders have said they support extending the tax credit for homebuyers. Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., has been negotiating for several weeks with Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., to craft an extended tax credit for homebuyers that would pass the Senate. Lawmakers didn’t release a cost estimate for extending the tax credit, though similar proposals were projected to cost about $10 billion. Industry representatives said uncertainty about the tax credit is hurting new home sales. September’s decline was the first since March. It takes 45 days to 60 days to close on a house, making it unlikely a sale made today would be consummated by the end of November, said Lucien Salvant, spokesman for the National Association of Realtors. “Buyers right now have an incentive to hold off, not knowing whether the credit will be extended,” Salvant said. About 1.4 million first-time homebuyers have qualified for the credit through August. The National Association of Realtors estimates that 350,000 of them would not have purchased their homes without the credit.

Buyer Signs Loan Documents

June 17, 2009

a REMAX logoFinally, after so many starts the buyer signed her loan documents.  We should be able to close escrow this week.  Initially, the buyer was going with an FHA loan with 3.5% down payment.  The week before we were supposed to close her agent called to say that the condominium complex did not qualify for FHA financing.  Supposedly, the building did not have enough reserves.  The building has $300,000 in reserves.  I never received a straight answer as to how much was enough.  Next she was attempting a loan with 20% down, but they were able to qualify her with 10% down.  Another 2 weeks and the agent calls to tell me that the lender did not ask for the buyer’s tax returns up front; they waited until the 4506 came in to review them.  The 4506 is a document authorizing a lender to order a copy of a borrower’s tax returns that have been submitted to the IRS.  Once they took a look they found out that as a teacher she had  used her own money to buy supplies for the class without being reimbursed by her employer.  This decreases her income and changes her income ratios, and so they had to go back to 20% down, another two weeks.  I know that public school teachers do this, but I did not know this about private school teachers.  I was surprised that the lender did not ask for tax returns with the borrower’s loan package.  Luckily, she was able to borrow some money from family members.    Another example of loan snafus.  Even if you are well qualified, you may have a difficult time getting a loan.  Usually, the lenders go over your paperwork with a fine tooth comb and request information on everything. 

 When applying for a loan be prepared.  Lenders will want copies of the following: 2 months of bank and investment statements, two years of tax returns,  1 month pay stubs, 4506T (tax form to verify tax returns), copy of drivers license, and social security number.  You are required to complete an application detailing any and all credit card, student, car loans or other loans.  Once the loan broker has all of your information he will package your loan and submit to the underwriter.  Once the underwriter reviews your package, they may ask for more documentation.  It is suggested that you have all of this done prior to house-hunting.  Once you find a home and sign a contract to buy your broker will order an appraisal, a title report and escrow instructions.  The underwriter may want more information after receiving any of these items. 

For more information, contact me.

Donna Benton

Improve your credit

May 27, 2009

a REMAX logo1. Get a Copy of Your Credit Report

Although you can’t get your exact credit score for free, you can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) once each year. To do so, visit and request a report.

This is actually the only way to get your reports for free; the site was created in response to federal legislation requiring that the three national credit reporting companies inform consumers about their status. Companies like actually charge you for expenses related to obtaining your credit report.

2. Make Sure You’re Aware of Any Existing Accounts

Typically, your credit report will show any accounts you have open. It’s easy to forget about credit accounts that you don’t actually use, like credit cards you stopped using but chose not to close the account ‘just in case.’

These credit accounts can easily represent the most likely upcoming dings to your credit: card companies and other lenders have started closing inactive accounts in order to limit their liability. As the amount of credit a person has goes down, so does their credit score. Be aware of this so that if your accounts do close, you won’t be taken by surprise.

3. Set Up Automatic Payments

One of the easiest credit score factors you can control is how good you are about making payments on your current balances. Even if you don’t usually carry a balance, making a payment or two late can cause a preventable dip in your credit score. Automatic payments can be a simple way of avoiding even one late payment.

4. Get Serious About Your Balances

One of the factors in a good credit score is how much credit you have available. That means that reducing your current balances has a direct connection to helping your credit score. Even adding a few dollars to your minimum monthly payment is enough to at least get you started on an upwards trend. Moving around debt, say to a zero-interest credit card, doesn’t actually help with your overall credit score.

5. Keep Your Number of Cards Constant

While your available credit is a key factor in your credit score, opening a bunch of new credit cards just to increase the amount of credit you have available won’t really help. Instead, the system used to determine credit scores reads such a move as a need for more credit: if you open several cards in a short time span, credit reporting agencies assume that you plan to use that credit and might even be planning to get yourself into some trouble with it.

Since closing unused credit cards can also have a negative impact on your credit, keeping your number of cards constant is usually the best compromise between getting the best credit card options and maintaining your good credit score.

Having a strong FICO score (over 680) will make it easier to qualify for a loan when you need it to purchase a home or a car.  You also will receive lower interest rates.

Short Sales

March 18, 2009


I am presently involved in two short sales.  I am changing the name to Long Sales.  From the time you put it on the market to closing could be 4-6 months, sometimes longer.


What is a short sale/long sale?  This event occurs when an owner of a property is unable to continue with their mortgage payments due to a financial hardship.  They have exhausted other avenues such as a loan modification with their existing lender or lenders, and the property is worth less than the mortgage amount.  Owners can contact HUD for assistance-800-569-4287; contact their lender and their Realtor®. After all avenues have been exhausted, the owner can place their home on the market with their Realtor®.  It is always best to work with an agent that has experience with short sales.  Realtors® do not charge any upfront fees to the seller, we are only paid once the transaction finalizes.


Typically, a seller would be responsible for paying all fees associated with the sale of their home.  With short sales the lender will pay the expenses.   A short sale can prevent foreclosure of the property, and can have less of a detrimental effect on your credit report.  Some lenders may require that the owner sign an unsecured loan to pay back some of the fees.  This can be triggered when there is a second mortgage on the property. 


Owners are advised to begin the process as early. 


                                  Donna Benton

                                  RE/MAX Westside Properties        cid_image6