Thousand Oaks Realtor

Renovations for Resale

Summer is an excellent time to work on home renovation projects. When considering your next big project, it is important to consider resale value. Even if you are not planning on moving in the near future, it is always helpful to consider resale as you never know what the future will hold. Many people move without planning for it far in advance or unexpectedly. It is just always best to be prepared. As your local Thousand Oaks realtor and real estate team we have compiled a list of some of the top home renovations to consider while keeping resale value in mind.
Bathroom: Bathroom renovations no matter how big or small are known for improving the resale value of any home. From simple updates with a few painted walls to a complete overall with new shower tile and a free-standing tub, you will never regret updating your bathroom.
Landscape: Particularly here in Southern California, landscaping is a large part of why someone will purchase a home. In Ventura County homeowners thoroughly enjoy indoor/outdoor living and updating your landscaping will only add significant value to your home.
Kitchen Updates: Kitchens and bathrooms are known for “selling houses.” As your local Thousand Oaks realtor and real estate team, what this really means is that kitchens and bathrooms stand out. Families will purchase a home simply because they absolutely fell in love with the kitchen. Any modern updates you make to your kitchen are sure to improve your resale value.
Curb Appeal: Improving the curb appeal to your home with a fresh coat of paint, a new front door, or some additional landscaping will certainly improve your home’s value. The curb appeal is the first thing new buyers see when they pull up to the house, so it sets the tone for how buyers perceive the rest of the home.

Camarillo Realtor

Owning vs. Renting

As your local Camarillo Realtor and real estate team, we understand that many first time home buyers contemplate the pros and cons of owning a home versus renting. The path to home ownership can feel overwhelming, particularly for those that have never been down this particular path before. As your Camarillo Realtor and real estate team we are here to help support you every step of the way and to make the process seem a bit less daunting. In general, it almost always makes more sense to be a homeowner rather than rent long-term. See below for some of the greatest benefits to home ownership.
Pay yourself, not a landlord: As you live in your home it will continue to increase in value over time. Along with the payments that you make towards your principal every month, the increase in home value allows you to build equity in your home. When you rent long-term it is like having an interest only loan that you can never get ahead of.
Mortgages are cheaper: The rental market will forever continue to rise as the market allows for inflation. With a mortgage you are locked into a set payment that you can count on with no surprises. With a mortgage you also have the ability to refinance, and eventually you will pay off your mortgage and have no debt or payment to make.
Stability: If you plan to stay in your current location for some time, it almost always makes more sense to purchase. Renting can be a great short-term solution if you need a temporary stay. However, renting can be a costly solution long-term, and you are building wealth for your landlord instead of yourself.
Freedom: Have you always wanted to knock down that wall in the living room to create an open concept flow? Perhaps you have wanted to paint a few walls but have hesitated because your landlord would not like it. With home ownership you have the freedom to design the inside of your home any way you like!

westlake realtor

Current Mortgage Interest Rates

It is no secret that the swift change in the real estate market has been directly related to the rise in mortgage interest rates. This quick increase since the beginning of the year has dramatically affected every family’s buying power while they search for the perfect home. As a local Westlake realtor and real estate team we understand how rates directly affect a family’s ability to purchase and we want to help you navigate this fast-changing market as best as possible.
Some experts predict that by the end of 2022 mortgage rates may be as high as 7%. Other experts such as Realtor.com predict that rates will hover at 6% consistently by the end of 2022. Zillow suggests that in general rates will be higher by the end of 2022 than they are today. The general consensus is that the market is too unpredictable today due to inflation to have a strong prediction about the specific numbers. However, the Federal Reserve expects to cut interest rates in late 2024. While they are not expected to be as low as they were in 2021, they are expected to decrease somewhat.
As your local Westlake realtor, what we do know is that we are not living in a bubble, much unlike that of 2008. Back in 2008 loose lending practices primarily led to many families getting in over their heads when it came to their house payments. This eventually led to an abundance of foreclosures which caused home values to crash. Today, home values continue to hold strong as families hold significant equity in their homes and lenders maintain strict lending practices. Homes today are not falsely overvalued as your basic concept of supply and demand has driven prices up. It is still currently a fantastic time to sell your home as the demand for homes for sale far outweighs the number of homes available.

Ventura County Realtor

You Bought a Home, Now What?

As your local Ventura County Realtor and real estate team we are so thankful to be able to welcome home our first-time home buyers. This is such an incredible milestone in life to be able to successfully achieve and we are so thankful you have trusted us to help you through the process. That being said, we also understand how overwhelming the process can be for any buyer, let alone a first time home buyer. Once the dust has somewhat settled and you can focus on the fact that you are now moving into your first home there are several things you will want to shift your focus towards. See below for a short list of things to review after closing on your first home.
Secure your home: While you likely purchased your home from a wonderful family, you probably don’t want them having any further access to your new home. Closing day is a great day to have your locks changed and secure your property. You may want to consider if you will be purchasing a home security system or not.
Review home warranty: In all of the paperwork you have been forced to review in closing you likely didn’t get a great look at your new home warranty. Now is a great time to make sure you fully understand what is covered and what is not as problems are bound to arise in any home.
Use home inspection as a to-do list for maintenance: Now that you officially own your own home that comes with the responsibility of maintaining it. As your local Ventura County Realtor, we know many homeowner’s don’t know where to begin when it comes to this kind of responsibility. An excellent starting place is your original home inspection report. Go through the list and make as many updates as possible to your home from that list.

moorpark realtor

Mortgage Loans

There are a variety of different types of loans that you could potentially get with the purchase of your new home. As your local Moorpark Realtor and real state team, we are happy to help guide you on which loan makes the most sense to help you accomplish all of your real estate goals. Not every loan is the right option for every homebuyer, and it is nice that there are options available. See below for some of the most popular types of mortgages we see, but there are several that exist outside of these options as well.
• Conventional Loan: Conventional loans can be divided into sub-categories of conforming and non-conforming loans. Most conventional loans tend to be conforming loans. In Ventura County the conforming loan limits are $851,000. What this means is that you can borrow up to $851,000 while falling into this category. If you need to borrow more than this, you will fall into the Jumbo Loan category. Conventional loans are wonderful as they offer great rates, you can cancel PMI once you have at least 20% principal paid, and you can put as little as 3% down to start. If you are able to fit into a conventional conforming loan, this is likely an ideal scenario. However, there are many reasons as to why this may not be the ideal loan for your family.
• Jumbo Loan: Jumbo loans fall outside of the $851,000 conforming loan limits. This allows you to borrow more money as needed due to the high value of properties in Ventura County. You will need to put down at least 10-20% in order to qualify for a Jumbo Loan and have a FICO score of at least 700+. Most lenders will also want your debt-to-income ratio to fall below 45%. Jumbo loans can require a significant amount of cash/savings in reserves and a lot of documentation.
• Government Loans: There are many types of government loans that exist such as FHA loans which only require a FICO score of 580+ and as little as 3.5% down. This loan also allows the seller to contribute to closing costs as needed. Another type of government loan is a VA loan. VA loans are a wonderful option for either active military or veterans. VA loans require 0% down and offer low interest rates as well as no minimum FICO score in order to qualify.
If you have any specific questions about mortgage loans, we would be happy to help. As your local Moorpark Realtor and real estate team we have ample experience with all of these loans and understand it can be an overwhelming part of the process.

Westlake realtor

Real Estate Appraisals

As your local Westlake realtor and real estate team, we understand the value of a proper real estate appraisal. We also understand that the process of an appraisal may seem a bit confusing. Whether you are buying or selling a home a real estate appraisal is important because it helps to establish the homes actual market value. This valuation is required by every lender as they want to verify that the property is at least worth what they are lending. Therefore, it is important that the appraisal comes in at the value of the contract in progress.
A real estate appraisal should not be confused with a CMA. A CMA stands for a comparative market analysis. This is different from an appraisal but is used to compare comps in the area to help determine a proper listing or offering price. An appraiser may use a CMA as part of their evaluation but only as part of it as each home is different. The official appraisal is the only data that a lender will consider when lending. Every appraiser is licensed by the state and needs to be an objective third party. The appraiser should have no financial gain in the transaction.
Every appraisal will show the details about the entire property, the overall current real estate market, and any specific/significant flaws with the property. The entire process should only take a few hours but will cost upwards of $300 depending on the size of the home in question. An appraisal is typically good for 4-12 months. As your local Westlake realtor our team is here to help you understand the entire buying and selling process. If you have any specific questions about how a real estate appraisal affects you, please feel free to reach out to us at any time.

Thousand Oaks Homes For Sale

Will the Market Crash?

With home prices reaching all-time record highs left and right, a common concern is if we are in a “bubble.” With a bubble comes a market crash. While this drastic market shift may feel concerning and reminiscent of years past, the truth is no market crash is upon us. If you have your eye on Thousand Oaks homes for sale you have likely noticed that just from May 2021 to May 2022 there was an increase in home sale prices of 14.8% and a total of roughly 45% increase in prices just since the onset of COVID19.
However, economists have been predicting more of a market cool off as opposed to a market crash. Home values have really become a victim of their own success. There are several reasons why a real estate crash is highly unlikely. The first reason is that home inventory is at an all-time low. Second, builders cannot meet demand and third the demographics of buyers have shifted. COVID caused a shift in the market we had not seen before that people who were unlikely buyers and sellers suddenly decided to relocate with the new work from home opportunities. Also, there is now a flood of millennials entering the market. Fourth, lending remains strict. In previous market crashes lenders gave away money too easily and borrowers were unable to pay back their debt. This is not the case in the current market as lenders have strict policies of who can qualify for a home loan. Finally, homeowners have so much equity in their home that a massive number of foreclosures is not eminent.
If you have been watching Thousand Oaks homes for sale and are confused about how this market shift affects you and your real estate goals we are here to help. We look forward to helping you achieve your real estate goals and navigate this confusing market.

Camarillo Homes For Sale

Selling in the Summer

Summer is considered the busiest time to sell a home. With kids out of school, more homeowners are looking to relocate before the new school year begins. This can be helpful when you are selling as more people are looking to purchase during this time. However, this also means that there is likely more inventory than other times of the year as well. If you are looking for Camarillo homes for sale you have likely noticed this change during the summer months. Below are a few tips to consider when selling your home during the summer.
1. Keep up on yardwork: Consider maintaining your yardwork early in the morning before it heats up for the day. It is important to make sure that your home looks impeccable inside and out which includes properly maintaining your yard.
2. Keep pest control in check: During the summer months pesky critters like to come out and enjoy the warmer temperatures. Make sure you have checked the perimeter of your home for ants, mosquitos, or an influx of spiders. If the pests seem out of hand it might be necessary to look into a pest control company.
3. Check on your air conditioner: There is nothing worse than having a showing of your beautiful home during the summer and the air conditioner stops working. Make sure that your air conditioner is in good working condition as this will be called by any potential buyer.
4. Relocate trash bins: Buyers looking to purchase your home will be walking inside and out to make sure that they love the home. Make sure that your trash cans are tucked away in a discrete location so that unwanted smells do not make a first impression.
5. Highlight outdoor features: Camarillo homes for sale that highlight their outdoor features sell for top dollar. Living in Southern California it is all about the indoor/outdoor living all year long. If you have any outdoor space such as a built-in barbeque, a pool, a California Room, etc. it is extremely important that those areas are highlighted.

Simi Valley Homes For Sale

Improving Your Credit

Your personal credit is an extremely important factor when it comes to applying for a home loan. You will also want to investigate the credit of anyone joining you on your home loan such as your partner. If you have been browsing Simi Valley homes for sale you will first want to take a look at how much house you can afford. The best place to find this out is by applying for a home loan and receiving a prequalification. This will also help make any of your offers stand out much stronger for the seller you are presenting them to. When applying for a home loan the lender will closely investigate your credit so it is best if you know what they will find ahead of time.
You will want to start the process by pulling your own credit report. You can do this for free once per year. Make sure that you review all three credit report bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. This will give you the opportunity to review any blemishes that the lender will find anyway and allow you the opportunity to fix them ahead of time. Remember there are five basic pieces that make up your FICO score. Your payment history accounts for 35% percent of your score making it one of the most important pieces. The easiest way to make sure that you never miss a payment is to set-up automatic payments for a least the minimum payment due, but ideally the balance due. Your credit usage accounts for 30% of your FICO score. It is important to use your credit every month so that you can build your score over time, but also in a manageable way so that you can pay it off monthly. The remaining sections account for a smaller percentage of your score including age of credit accounts (15%), credit mix (10%), and new inquiries (10%).
If you are looking for Simi Valley homes for sale but are unsure of your credit score we would be happy to walk you through the process. Many individuals are confused by the entire home loan process, and we want to assure you that you are never alone in the process. You can also regularly review your credit score yourself to make sure everything reported is accurate, just make sure that you only do soft checks so as not to hurt your own score.

Thousand Oaks Realtor

How Much House Can I Afford?

As your local Thousand Oaks Realtor and real estate team, we often get asked, “how much house do you think I can afford?” Prior to starting your house hunting process, we highly recommend getting preapproved for a lender. We work with some of the most excellent lenders around and would be happy to point you in the right direction. We also understand how confusing the preapproval process can be. In general, things that you should take into account when considering getting preapproved for a home loan are: your monthly income, your monthly debt, savings for your down payment, and potential reserves available.
The best rule of thumb to follow is to have three months of payments in reserve. You will also need to consider your debt-to-income ratio. What is a debt-to-income ratio? This is a ratio based your monthly income in comparison to your monthly debts and lenders will use it to help determine how much home you can comfortably afford. The better your credit is the higher percentage certain lenders will allow your debt-to-income ratio to be. Typically, up to 45% debt-to-income is allowed. What this looks like logistically is if your monthly income is $5,000 you will multiply that by .45 to determine what you can afford monthly. In this example the answer is $2,250. This number needs to include your mortgage principal, interest, taxes, and monthly debts.
In general, what you can reasonably afford begins and ends with mortgage interest rates. As an experienced Thousand Oaks Realtor and real estate team, we understand how important interest rates are when it comes to affordability. Today, 30-year fixed interest rates are set at 6.03%. This is notably higher than this same time last year. If you have any specific questions about how interest rates have impacted your family’s buying power, we would be happy to help.

Hare and Associates