Here’s How Most People Buy a Home

Here’s How Most People Buy a Home
  • Look at the net…
  • Drive Around Looking At Houses…
  • Make some calls on Houses that look nice…
  • Visit an open house…
  • Randomly talk to different real estate agents…
  • Look at the interior of some homes…
  • Make an offer or two or Three…
  • Purchase a home (often for way too much $$, or not the one that you really want)

Does this sound familiar? What’s wrong with this? What’s missing?

The harsh truth too many people spend more time researching what movie to see than which real estate agent to use or what they should know about buying a home!

So they gamble.

One of the most important financial decisions of their life is hanging in the balance, and it all depends on the goodwill of strangers or friends.

You are safe now because with the knowledge you’re about to get your hands on, you’ll be in the driver’s seat. No more wondering what you’re missing out on or how you are going to find the right home.  Now you’ll know the proven successful techniques that seasoned agents, savvy investors, and veteran home buyers use…and you will gain a serious advantage over other home buyers & many real estate agents, all for FREE.

Information You Want Now:

  • Discover sources of homes & investment properties NOT “on the market” or in the MLS (multiple listing service)…that other people don’t know about
  • Find out  “How To Sell Your Home & Buy Another…Without Under-Selling, Over-Paying, Going Homeless, Or Getting Stuck Owning & Paying Mortgages On TWO Homes”
  • Identify seven simple ways to beat out competing offers and save thousands of dollars through some simple positioning strategies for your offer…so you can buy the home of your dreams for $1,000’s less (it’s easier than you think!)
  • Receive daily emails of all the hottest new listings, foreclosures, short sales, estate sales, and probate sales in your desired area & price range, all via the Exclusive Finding the Perfect Home System
  • Get your money and time-saving home buying tips in the FREE GUIDE: “How To Buy A Home In San Diego”. Call: 858-225-7385

NOW – You Can Find a Home That Isn’t Officially “On The Market” in the MLS

…One that  Many Homebuyers & Agents Are Not Aware Of

Are You…

  • Tired of losing out on homes you may like but you never hear about until they’ve been sold?
  • Sick of driving around looking at over-priced and junky looking homes you’d never want to live in?
  • Frustrated because by the time you see a home it has several offers on it already?

Do you wish there was a easier and less stressful way to buy the perfect home?

If you say “YES!” then you will love what you’re about to learn…

You can either keep putting in bids on properties and hope that you will get them or you can. Get the inside scoop on Homes before they hit the market!

My marketing research systems, plus an average of over 50 outgoing calls to Realtors and owners is the hard work I do to find you the best property and bring you value.   I can  find you unlisted but ‘ready to buy’ homes in your preferred price range and location. How nice would that be?

Consider this fact to help you…

Homes in the San Diego Realtor Multiple Listing Service are often picked over.  The good homes are not known by most real estate agents. And… You’re not likely to hear about them from any other source.

Find Out About My Unlisted Homes…

If you want to know more specifics about not missing out on finding the home you’ve really want in San Diego, then complete the  below form.  I  find homes “Not On The Market” for many of my other clients — Why Don’t you become one of the next clients to grab one of these gems?

Contact me before someone else buys the home that you really want! Enter your email address to your right or call 858-225-7385

For San Diego City Schools (which includes La Jolla), go to San Diego Schools Boundary Lookup and input the specific address you want to check Or call  (619) 725-5668.

The Raw Truth About Buyer Home Inspections

The Raw Truth About Buyer Home Inspections

Real Estate contracts often contain contingency clauses that allow buyers to inspect the property physically (usually at their expense). This inspection provides a comprehensive review of the infrastructure of the property.

Which inspections to order is usually a matter of observation and knowledge of what is critical to a particular region or area. Below is a list of the three most common types of inspections.

Structural Pest Control
• To discover any active infestation by wood destroying organisms.
• Section I on the report deals with active infestation and includes items that need immediate attention, lenders usually want the
work performed prior to funding the loan.
• Section II on the report will be items that could cause infestation and, if not corrected, could cause damage.

Physical Inspection
• This inspection encompasses roof, plumbing, electrical, heating and any other accessible area of the structure.
• A detailed report will be written with recommendations for repair or for further inspection by a specialist.

Geological Inspection
• An inspection of the soil conditions and the stability of the ground beneath the structure can be performed by a Geological Engineer.
• You can select to go to the city records and research the property and its proximity to known fault lines.

Some Other Common Inspections

• Water Conservation
• Well and Septic
• Hazardous Materials
• Zoning and Building Permit
• Compliance
• Contractors Home Inspection
• Chimney Inspection
• Heating and Air Conditioning
• Structural Engineering
• Energy Audit

What is Title Insurance and Why do You Need it?

What is Title Insurance and Why do You Need it?

The deed to your new home is not enough to ensure clear title: it is merely an instrument whereby the seller transfers right of ownership to you. It doesn’t prove that the person described as the seller is actually the clear owner, and it does not eliminate claims or rights that others may have in the property. You cannot determine from the deed what rights, liens, or claims may be outstanding against your title.

You should be protected against any undiscovered claims that may arise in the future to threaten your title. A title insurance policy from provides this twofold protection in accordance with your instructions and within the parameters of the policy. Although your mortgage lender will most likely have a title insurance policy, it only protects the lender’s interest in the property, not your investment, and it decreases as the mortgage is paid off. You need owner’s title insurance to protect your ownership for the full amount you paid for the property.

How Does it Work?
The title company conducts a thorough search and evaluation of the Public Records, looking for situations that may cloud the title to your new home, such as:

• Are all Taxes and special assessments paid?

• Does anyone have special rights to the property that would limit your ownership?

• Has the death of a former owner or the filing of a will, affected title to the property?

• Are there any lawsuits or claims recorded against the property itself, or suits or judgments filed against the seller?

What about Hidden Risks?
Claims that cannot be discovered by examination of the Public Records, called “hidden risks”, could arise long after you’ve purchased the
property. Here are just a few of the most common hidden risks that can cause a loss of title or create an encumbrance on title:

• False impersonation of the true owner of the property.

• Forged deeds, releases or wills.

• Undisclosed or missing heirs.

• Instruments executed under invalid or expired power of attorney.

• Misinterpretations of wills.

• Deeds by persons of unsound mind.

• Deeds by minors.

• Deeds by persons supposedly, but in fact married.

• Liens for unpaid estate, inheritance, income or gift taxes.

• Fraud.

What about premiums?
Unlike most forms of insurance, you pay for a Title Insurance policy only once, and this relatively modest charge insures your title for as long as you or your heirs own the property.

What is the Preliminary Title Report?
The Preliminary Report is an offer to issue a policy of title insurance covering a particular estate or interest in land subject to stated exceptions. Since these exceptions may point to potential problems with your intended purchase, it is important for all parties to review the report once it is received. A Preliminary Report provides a list of the matters which will be shown as exceptions to coverage in a designated policy or policies of title insurance, if

issued currently, covering a particular state or interest in land. It is designated to provide an interim, or “preliminary” response to an application for title insurance and is intended to facilitate the issuance of the designated policy or policies. It is normally prepared after application (order) for such policy(ies)

of title insurance on behalf of the principals to a real property transaction, for the purpose of facilitating requirements relative to closing and policy issuance in form and content approved by those parties.

If a title policy is not contemplated, a Preliminary Report should not be ordered. Instead, consideration should be given to requesting a Condition of Title Report or other similar title product.

The Preliminary Report states on its face that it is made solely to facilitate the subsequent issuance of a title insurance policy and that the insurer assumes no liability for errors in the report. Accordingly, any claim arising from a defect in title must be made under the title policy and not the Preliminary Report.

After a title order has been placed, matters relative to the title policy coverage on the subject property are assembled in a title search package and examined by skilled technicians. This is when the Preliminary Report is prepared and sent to the customer. The report contains relevant information so that the parties to the transaction will become aware of matters which will not be insured against by the title company. This report is issued before the title policy, hence the name Preliminary Report.

What is the Role of the Escrow Company?

What is the Role of the Escrow Company?

What is Escrow?
Escrow is the process by which the interests of all parties in a real estate transaction are protected, ensuring that all conditions of the sale have been met before property and money change hands. Escrow is an independent depository wherein all funds, instructions, and documents for the purchase of your home are held, including your down payment, your lender’s funds, documents for the new loan, hazard and title insurance, inspection reports, and the grant deed from the seller. At the close of escrow, the “escrow holder” delivers these items to the appropriate parties, disburses the funds, and handles the associated paperwork.

What Does an Escrow Holder Do?
The Escrow Holder is a neutral third party, such as Chicago Title, that maintains the escrow account and impartially oversees the escrow process, making sure all conditions of the sale are properly met.

The Escrow Holder’s Duties Include:

• Serving as the neutral agent and the liaison between all parties involved.

• Requesting a preliminary title search to determine the status of title to the property.

• Requesting a beneficiary statement of debt or obligations are to be taken over by the buyer.

• Requesting a payoff demand from beneficiaries when the seller is paying off debts.

• Complying with the lender’s requirements as specified in its instructions to escrow.

• Securing releases of all contingencies or other conditions imposed on the escrow.

• Preparing or securing the deed and other documents related to escrow.

• Prorating taxes, interest, insurance, and rents.

• Preparing escrow instructions.

• Receiving purchase funds from the buyer.

• Receiving loan funds from buyer’s lender.

• Closing the escrow pursuant to instructions supplied by the seller, buyer and lender.

• Recording the deed and any other documents.

• Disbursing funds as authorized by the instructions, including charges for title insurance, recording fees, real estate commissions and loan payoffs.

• Preparing final statements for all parties involved that account for the disposition of all funds held in the escrow account.

• Requesting the title insurance policy.

The Escrow Process
Your escrow is created shortly after you execute the purchase agreement to sell your home. It cannot be successfully completed until all escrow instructions have been carried out and all parties have signed escrow documents. The length of escrow can range from a few days to several months, depending on the terms of the purchase agreement. On average, an escrow closes within 45 days.

Opening the Escrow
Either your Real Estate Agent or the buyer’s agent may open the escrow for you. As soon as you execute the sales agreement, the buyer’s Agent will place the initial deposit into an escrow account. At the opening of escrow, you may be asked to provide identification information such as your birth date and social security number. This information remains confidential.

Should I Buy a Short Sale?

Should I Buy a Short Sale?

Frankly, Short-Sales are one of the best deals in the marketplace.  These homes sell for 5% to 10% BELOW bank owned homes; which helps to make them the best deals on the market. If you are not paying cash and you are doing more of a typical “normal” financing, then you are going to get a better deal on a short sale because a lot of the bank owned homes are going for cash.

Only make an offer on a short sale when you are certain that the agent who is selling the home and your agent as a buyer both know the process involved in short sales. Otherwise, you are going to be stuck in the process for 6 months or more. If your agent understands how the short sale works and what’s needed to complete the entire process, it can be as short as 60 days for you to complete a short sale purchase.

So what are the key steps to getting into a short sale?

Key Step 1 – Do you have the time? Short sales take longer, plain and simple. Short Sales will take 60-90 days. They should never take more than 120 days in a normal situation. This is, once again, where your agent knowing what they are doing and understanding the entire process of a short sale is important.  Now keep in mind not every situation is “normal”; about 70% of situations are “normal.”  You also have to also keep in mind that short sales are up from 8% in 2010 to 28% in 2011. That means that short sales are definitely going a lot faster, but you still have to make sure that you have a little bit of time.

Here’s an example of what happens with a short sale; a home that sold 3 years ago for $727,000 sold in a short sale for $275,000. That same home, if it were bank owned, would have sold for about $350,000. So short sales are definitely the best deal out there; but you have to make sure you have the time that it’s going to take to do the process and do it right. So why do they banks do this?  Once again, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. They want their money and they want it as fast as possible.

Key Step 2 – Work with realtors that KNOW short sales. Be blunt; ask them right up front to show you their track record with Short Sales.  Tell them to give you proof that they know short sales.  A good Realtor makes the process easy and simple.  As a buyer, you’re not paying for the fees, the bank is, so you want to make sure you get a realtor that is good and is going to work for you.  The listing agent does 99% of the work, so make sure they have experience. Ask your realtor to search the MLS and see, has the listing agent closed the short sales in the proper amount of time?  Ask about what the listing agent’s process is to handle short sales. Do they have a system and a process that they go through to get the short sales through?

Key Step 3 – Be open minded to a counter-offer from the bank. Most of the time a bank will make a counter-offer.  Be willing to consider it. The banks are willing to work with you, they’re just NOT willing to give the home away. They go off the BPO (Broker Price Opinion), so that is why it’s so important for your Realtor and the listing realtor to be at that meeting. Again, your realtor should know and understand this process and the listing realtor definitely needs to know.

So why do banks do short sales?  Frankly, banks make more money on a short sale than they do on a foreclosure. They make 10%-13% more money on a short sale.  The home stays in better shape when they’re making a short sale because the owner lives in it until the closing.  There are no added costs of maintenance and upkeep for the bank if the owner remains in the home. It’s a more solid deal for the bank than allowing the home to go into foreclosure. If they can get it done in a short sale they’re better off financially.

It’s all about the money. That is why your offer needs to be a fair offer and not 40% to 60% below the market value.  Have your realtor run a market analysis for you before you make the offer so you have something to back you up. So if you want to make an offer at 40-60% below the market value, then be prepared to wait 12-20 months for you to get to a final deal. It comes down to being realistic.

So why am I offering this information on short sales free of charge to you?  Honestly?  I want to make sure that YOU get a good and fair deal, no matter who you work with as your Realtor. I know that if I get this information out into the marketplace then everybody wins! Knowledge is power.  Don’t get me wrong, I make a living by selling homes and we would love to help you with buying a short sale.  I am knowledgeable and I have that track record to prove it.  I love what I do and selling homes is my passion but it also is what pays my bills. If I can help you make a short sale please give us a call or drop us an email.  Most of all, I want to make sure you understand what you need to do in order to buy a short sale and understand what you want to look for in a Realtor.  I can definitely offer our services and be the realtor that makes your Short Sale run smoothly and happen as fast as possible.

7 Steps to Buying a Foreclosure

7 Steps to Buying a Foreclosure

You can save BIG money by buying a foreclosure home and utilizing these 7 key steps.  You can take these steps to any realtor, in any marketplace and get amazing savings.  The best part is, if you utilize these 7 steps, they’re simple and you’ll save lots and lots of time and money.

You have to be aware of a couple pitfalls in buying a foreclosure.  Being hasty and jumping on the first deal can cost you a lot of money.  However, good deals go fast, so be ready to act if you like the home.  If you do find that one home that you absolutely know you love; you can see yourself in and know it’s the right one, don’t sit back and wait too long.  Foreclosures tend to sell fast, so don’t sit on your hands if you know for sure that this is the one!  You can save 20-30% off of the current market value if you’re ready and prepared to take action.

Key Step 1 – Look for overpriced properties.  Now that statement probably confused you.  You’re probably saying, “Why would I want an overpriced home?”  But let me explain.  Banks and sellers overprice homes.  This means that they stay on the market for months and months.  The bank gets fed up with having this property over their heads and on their books and it’s not selling because it’s overpriced.  You make an offer and the bank is tired of sitting on the house for 8, 9, 10 months.  They will end up taking your offer fast.  Here’s a perfect example.  There was recently a $1.1 million home on the foreclosure market.  The house was on the market for 10 months and the bank was really tired of holding onto this money pit.  The home sold for only $360,000!  The home was on the market for 10 months for $900,000.  It was obviously an overpriced home for the market, the bank overpriced it hoping that getting a $1.1 million home for $900,000 would look enticing and nobody took the bait.  When the bank got the offer they jumped on it!  Take a look, have your realtor go out there and look for some overpriced properties to check on; especially ones which are overpriced and have been on the market for a while.

Key Step 2 – Can you make repairs?  The bottom line is if you can buy a home for $150k and the home is valued at $200k; you invest $10k in repairs then you’ve made a savings of $40k.  That is 20%-30% in savings.  It will take some work on your part though.  You have to realize how long it’s going to take you to make the repairs to save the money.  Here’s a perfect example.  There’s a home on the market that would cost $900k to build it and it’s listed for $300k.  The house needs $50k repairs on this house.  So in the end it’s well worth it to get a $900k home for $350k!

Key Step 3 – Do other buyers want the neighborhood?  The bottom line is that a good neighborhood generally means long term appreciation.  Does it have good school zones?  Is it close to shopping?  You do not want lots of foreclosures in that area because that means your home value will go down.  Are there builders still building in the area?  If so this will also decrease the value of your home.  But the key here is that there is always one area of town where people want to live; however this area will have a lower appreciation because more people will buy and retire to this area of town.  This makes the area a more stable area, so it has a lower appreciation.  This means you have to be careful and find a happy medium between the two extremes.  Find all this out and ask yourself if you’re going to be happy and willing to live there for the next 5-10 or even 15 years of your life.

Key Step 4 – Financing.  You really need to be pre-approved for your loan or be ready to pay cash.  Bank homes require a firm pre-approval or cash payment to buy their homes.  Banks will sell a home for less money to someone if they know the buyer is “A+” which means that they are either paying cash or have a firm pre-approval.  What they care about is getting money quick, as opposed to getting more money slower.  So you absolutely must be firmly pre-approved for a loan or have cash to buy from the bank immediately.  The bank simply wants to get rid of these homes and get them off their books.

Key Step 5 – Make an offer at the end of the month.  The banks have deadlines and goals to reach.  They need to sell a certain amount of homes each month and there are bank employees out there that get paid bonuses for reaching these goals by the end of the month.  So many buyers want to close by the end of the month so they make an offer at the beginning of the month.  Be willing to close any time of the month.  This can mean a savings of 10%-15% on a home!

Here’s a key piece of knowledge to carry with you also.  November and December are one of the best months to by ANY type of home; bank or non-bank.  People set goals of wanting to have this done by the end of the year and they’ll often take lower offers.

Key Step 6 – Read between the lines.  Bank agents are overworked, plain and simple.  Because of this they don’t put full details on the listing information.  They have less pictures and less info that they offer.  Drive by the outside and check it out yourself because often it could truly be that “Diamond in the Rough” that could be just what you’re looking for and you can get a great deal on it.

Key Step 7 – Stop getting shoved around by the bank.  If every one of these bank homes are going like hotcakes, then consider going with a normal seller home.  Most sellers and Realtors understand that they have to compete with bank homes today, so they are willing to take lower offers.  In most areas 70% of all homes sold are done with normal sellers and not bank owned homes.  So don’t get caught up in this tunnel vision of wanting to buy nothing but a foreclosure home because you’re going to get the best deal.  Non-bank owned sellers will consider offers also.  They understand that they may have to take a little lower price, as long as it’s realistic, based upon the fact that there are many bank homes out there that are willing to sell for lower prices.  Make sure that your agent brings in a good market analysis to prove your offer.  Make sure your agent comes in with all the guns loaded and can prove why your offer is reasonable and acceptable.  That’s their job.

The reason I am providing this offer at no cost is that I want to get this information out there into the marketplace.  If I can get this information out there, everybody wins.  More homes sell, more buyers come into the market, and when buyers and sellers are knowledgeable about the business it’s a win/win situation for us all.  It’s all about YOU getting a good deal.  Of course, I love what we do.  Selling homes is our passion.  It’s also how I make a living and how I pay my bills, so if you need an agent and you would like help in buying a foreclosure give me a call at 858 225 7385.  I hope you enjoyed this free information and I hope you get a great deal when buying a foreclosure because you are now going into it with a little more knowledge and information.