Realtor, MBA, Realtor (14 years experience)

Buyer's Agent,
Listing Agent,


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What are the Pros and cons of Having an FHA mortgage compared to a conventional mortgage?


To put it simply, the less you put down, the more desirable of a buyer you appear to the seller.  FHA loans are a great option for buyers because they require 3.5% down.  As appealing as it is for the buyer, the seller sees it differently....they just see that you have very little money saved for your purchase and thus you are more risky than someone with 20% down. Pros of FHA: small down payment, amazing credit is not crucial.Cons: monthly mortgage insurance is required...could add an additional 200-300 bucks a month to your mortgage.As for the appraisal issue you bring up---yes that 6 month appraisal thing is true for an FHA loan---once again, making and FHA buyer look less desirable than a conventional buyer. Hope that helps.

Can I put less money down on a short sale or foreclosed property?


I think you have your answer already, but I want to make sure that people reading this understand that a short sale and a foreclosure ARE TOTALLY DIFFERENT THINGS.  A short sale is the pre-cursor to a foreclosure.  It is when the property is still owned by the individual BUT the bank must approve the sale because it is worth LESS than their note--in other words, they are selling "short" of what they are owed.  A foreclosure/reo has already gone back to the bank and can be sold right away.  A short sale can take 3-6 months just to receive an answer.  The answer could be YES, NO, Yes, but we need more money from you, or YES, but we need you to close in 1 week.  A foreclosure can be sold within 30 days....and yes, banks prefer buyers with ALL CASH or lots of money down.

how do i figure my house value


I think people make this alot harder than it really is.  Most of us do not live in totally unique properties, so the best way to figure out your home value is to compare it to something similar that has recently sold.  When I say recently, I mean the last 3-4 months.  This is the time period that appraisers use when they look at your house.  Just as important as the homes that have recently sold, you MUST drive around your "hood" and check out the competition.  If your neighbors house is listed at $300,000 and you list for $375,000, you better have a really good for that..otherwise buyers will just move on.  Some "good reasons" include: 1) you have a great view 2) your lot is much bigger than most in the area 3) you have added on square footage to your house or 4) your level of upgrades far exceeds the norm.  If you need more advice, feel free to email me.  Good luck.Dana

Are we still in a declining market?


From a purely financing point of view, we are still in a declining market BUT this does not mean it is a buyer's market per se.  Since real estate is regional, I can only tell you what is going on in Los Angeles.  Although prices have dropped a whopping 34% since the height of the market, inventory, in the last 8 months, has also dropped by more than 1/2.  Based on the general feeling that this is the "bottom of the market" and coupled with low inventory, most homes are receiving multiple offers and are getting bid up at least 5-10% of the purchase price.  This is what I deal with on a daily basis.  One crappy house, 20 buyers! 

Why is this house listed for more than some of the other homes in the area?


This is the question that alot of buyers ask me.  Although this house is already under contract after receving 8 offers, I thought I would take the time to explain why this house is such a hot property. Carlton Terrace is a tract community built in the 1960s and consisting of 1126 homes.  Most of them look alike, so you would expect them to sell for roughly the same amount.  They don't!  There are 4 VIEW streets in this area and they are highly coveted.  Moreover, this house has a 12K flat and toally useable grassy yard and a pool ( average size lot for the area is 6-7K and most back up to a hill or on a downslope).  Having a flat lot, pool, and 180 degree views is totally out of the norm for this neighborhood, hence the frenzy!

Seller about to take a lease option

The seller is about to take a lease option from someone who wants to grow championship flowers...!!! If you want the land, please hurry. Email with questions.

Sold in 4 days?

No way! Houses don't sell in 4 days anymore. Oh yes they do. If the house is priced right, be prepared to move quickly. Inventory is down from 8500 homes and condos to roughly 5200...thats a big dip. Also, interest rates are holding steady. In other words, if you find something you like, and the price is right ( check with your agent and zillow ofcourse), then MOVE ON IT...other buyers are doing the don't let the doom and gloom on the news fool you.

This listing is a short sale

Hi everyone--just in case you don't know what a short sale is...A short sale is when the bank agrees to sell the property for LESS than what is owed on it. In other words, when market value is less than the note. Why would they do this? Because sometimes the loss is less than it would cost the lender to foreclose. BUYER BEWARE: short sales usually take alot of time to accomplish. Just because the seller accepts your offer does not mean that the bank will ok the short sale. Without their approval, the offer will not go through. Prepare to be patient...but also prepare to get a good deal.