You may want to talk to the person who set up your pre-approval. They will likely know someone that can take care of you. The strategy has the added benefit of making sure that your lender and agent have an established relationship. It will make the transaction go more smoothly.
Absolutely! I'm presuming that you're in a rural/agricultural setting. Anything that can be a positive asset to your property should be part of your marketing approach. In fact, the unique nature of those assets may attract that one buyer for whom those instantly seal the deal.
Orange county is a tough place to find them. Most of the development is relatively newer and land was relatively cheap at the time. Unless you're looking for a duplex, it's tough to search specifically for a place with a guest house. I can pull some stuff from the MLS. What are your size and location requirements and budget?
As the person who owns the home, your opinion may not mesh seamlessly with reality. Get an unbiased opinion from a broker in your area. See if his/her thoughts validate or repudiate yours. It can't hurt.
Very sorry to hear about your struggles. Hopefully, they're well behind you now. VA loans have pretty low Fico requirements. Your lender probably has a credit company with whom he/she works that can help. Make sure to ask your creditors to see if they'll remove negative items in exchange for paying them off. Most of the time, you'll find that they will. Rather than having a paid collection, it's much better to show no collection at all!
There are a bunch of different factors to consider, but two really represent "the money" stats. If you live in a low crime area with good schools, the rest pretty much comes together. Bottom line...folks like to live in safe neighborhoods with great schools and will gravitate to them in any market.I believe that both communities are policed by the LAPD. Crime stats can be found here.For school reports, you would want to determine the district and schools that represent each individual property and then find their API ranking here. It's scored on a scale of 300-1000. Of course, the higher the school scores, the better. This applies even if you don't have children. For resale, it makes a huge difference.Your agent can also give you some ideas about what neighborhoods represent the best value for your dollar.
I don't know that the area makes much difference. I would focus a great deal more on the actual substance of the lawsuit. Much like any litigation, HOA lawsuits can run the gamut from serious construction defects to BS slip and fall claims by the guest of a tenant. I would get a copy of the claim, review it with your Realtor and lender and decide whether or not to go forward in an informed and conscious manner. Lawsuits can scare away other buyers and possibly make for a sweeter deal.
It depends on whether or not it was your primary residence, how much you paid, how long you owned it, how much you spent on improvements and other factors like depreciation. You should really talk with an accountant specializing in real estate to get a real clear picture.
The normal guidelines, I believe, specify 20%, but I know they're offering 80/10 products again. As I've never done a transaction with one, I'm just not sure if they apply to duplexes.
It all depends on whether or not you're going to be living in the property. There should be some niche programs that may offer low down payment options. I'm a real estate broker from southern Cal, but my good friend Andrew works for Alpine Mortgage and does a great business in the Bay Area. Great reviews on Yelp and Zillow. Check him out. http://www.zillow.com/profile/Andrew-Soss/