Homes, Inc. Earns BBB Accreditation

Homes, Inc., a global leader in the investment, development, and management of real estate partnerships is pleased to announce it has received an “A” rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) after meeting the BBB’s eight Standards of Trust and earning BBB Accreditation.

The company is very proud to stand by its commitment to practicing excellence in customer service and adhering to all BBB Standards.

“We have been working hard to drive consistent, professional and superior 5-star service across the board at Homes, Inc.,” says Mary Johnson, Director of Public Relations for Homes, Inc. “From sourcing properties to finding quality rehabilitation crews to marketing the properties to the highest purchaser – and much, much more, we aim to be the gold standard in the single-family residential fix-and-flip property space. Earning this company-wide BBB Accreditation is an important part of our client-centric DNA as a company.”

We have been working hard to drive consistent, professional and superior 5-star service across the board at Homes, Inc.

 MARY JOHNSON, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS

“We are pleased to have met BBB’s high standards and we are excited to be part of an organization working to help consumers find businesses to trust,” said Ms. Johnson. “Our BBB Accreditation and ‘A’ rating give our clients confidence in our commitment to maintaining high ethical standards and conduct.”

About Better Business Bureau

For more than 100 years, BBB has provided Business Profiles to provide consumers and businesses information on business in order to help them make wise buying decisions. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org.

 About Homes, Inc.

Homes, Inc. is a real estate management firm based in Southern California. Homes, Inc. sources, identifies, rehabilitates and redevelops residential real estate properties in which it can add significant upside value and subsequently bundle these properties into real estate partnerships on behalf of private partners. Homes, Inc.’s unique partnerships allow third-parties to participate in the booming Southern California real estate market through its Distressed Real Estate Partnerships to achieve an individual’s short and long term income strategy expectations.

Title Insurance Facts For Southern California Properties

Home buyers often inquire about title insurance, what it is, and if they need it. Lender’s coverage is required with most mortgages, however, an owner’s policy is typically an option. Buyers should think about the benefits and make their own decision given the expense and advantages. In this article you will find title insurance facts for Southern California properties.

Why Title Insurance is Necessary Even With a Title Search

Before closing, a title search is routinely performed by a title company. This verifies that no other party has a claim to the home (based on available records) and that the title is available to be transferred to another entity. The title search is not all inclusive and does not always detect hidden issues in the title. Title insurance will cover most un-caught title issues and the costs that come with defending your ownership rights in a property.

Title Insurance Coverage

Title insurance is a one-time fee at settlement that will stay active for the entire time that you retain ownership of the home. You can buy it at a later time, but it is ordinarily more cost effective when selected at closing. The charge is based on the principal loan amount.

Title Insurance Facts For Southern California Properties and Items Covered

Title insurance typical coverages include…

  • Fraud related to the completion of paperwork.
  • Pressure on a grantor or executor (of a will).
  • False impersonation by those purporting to be owners of a home.
  • False marital status of a grantor.
  • Mental incompetence of grantors.
  • Participation by a under-aged party.
  • Non-delivery of deeds.
  • Unsatisfied issues not reflected in the records.
  • Mis-indexing at Registry of Deeds.
  • Clerical glitches in recording legal documents.
  • Delivery of deeds proceeding the death of a grantor.
  • Deeds completed under false powers of attorney.

Some policies may include…

  • missing heirs.
  • Issues with wills.
  • Mistaken interpretation of trusts.
  • Birth of heirs subsequent to the date of a will.
  • Incorrect property surveys.
  • Inaccurate property descriptions.
  • Confusion due to identical names.

The information above is strictly an introduction. Speak with a local title company for specific title insurance facts for Southern California properties and costs, as they generally differ depending on the company. This blog should not be considered as legal advice and may change without notice.

Preparing Your Southern California Home For Sale

It is essential to make your home look its best before showings. When people visit a property, they must be able to imagine living there. Preparing your Southern California home for sale entails several fundamental tasks and will lead to your property selling faster and for closer to asking price. In this article you will find guidelines for Southern California listings.

Preparing A Property For Showings – Guidelines For Southern California Listings

Repair and Switch

Remove any fixtures that will not be sold with the home. This minimizes confusion. Additionally address needed repairs such as cracks in walls, broken floor tiles, and dripping drains. When visitors notice obvious items that are ignored, they imagine that you must also neglect other basic matters through the years.

Make Things Neutral

During the time your property is listed for sale, make the rooms less specific to you. This means eliminating any things that may distract potential buyers or give them preconceptions about who you are as a home owner. Hide family photos and items that make obvious sentiments.

Cleaning Up

Give your home a thorough cleaning. Unclean spaces deter visitors. Try to minimize clutter. Cluttered spaces or oversized pieces of furniture can make rooms seem smaller. Look into renting a storage unit for unused furniture and rarely used items. Freshen up closets, kitchen cabinets, and other spaces as visitors tend to peek inside. A clean and clutter-free home enables viewers to overlook the personal furnishings.

Remove Valuables

No matter how closely you or your broker keep an eye on visitors, accidents and thefts do happen. Protect your family heirlooms and other items by putting them in a hidden place. Pay close attention to small items that can be quickly taken. Lastly, young children might accompany adults, so secure any things that are easily broken and easily reached by small visitors.

Preparing Your Southern California Home For Sale and Final Items

Lastly, there are some to-dos that you can complete immediately before a showing.

  • Remove Trash
  • Organize the Beds
  • Hide the Laundry
  • Brighten up the Space

Preparing your Southern California home for sale will lend the way to more interest from buyers and more favorable offers. For additional information on preparing a property for showings or guidelines for Southern California listings, contact Matthew Rapoport (213) 334-4141 or [email protected]

Overview Of The Qualified Mortgage Rule For Southern California Loans

The qualified mortgage rule was released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2013 as part of the Dodd-Frank Reform Act. It actually took effect in 2014 and affects the way companies qualify and confirm facts for home buyers. An overview of the qualified mortgage rule for Southern California loans is included in this article.

Overview Of The Qualified Mortgage Rule For Southern California Loans

The qualified mortgage rule requires mortgage companies confirm financial facts of home buyers and to determine their ability to repay a loan. First, earnings and assets must be sufficient to repay the mortgage. Additionally, that capability to repay must be considered over the life of the home loan and not just for an introductory period of time. This is a particularly significant rule for mortgages with adjusting terms.

Elements of the Qualified Mortgage Rule

The qualified mortgage rule details guidelines for identifying the ability to pay, debt-to-income ratio limits, and restriction on points and fees. Mortgage companies will be required to apply a minimum of 8 specific underwriting factors to make the determination. These include:

  • Salary and Assets
  • Current Employment
  • Credit History
  • Monthly Mortgage Payments
  • Monthly Payments for Other Mortgages
  • Other Real Estate Ownership Expenses (Real Estate Taxes, Condo Fees, etc.)
  • Additional Liabilities
  • Debt-to-Income Ratios

Debt-to-income ratios will be limited to forty-three percent. This is actually more than the prior forty-one percent maximum. Finally, points and other fees must not be more than 3 percent of the mortgage amount. All of these changes were effective Jan 10., 2014.

Programs That Will No Longer Be Valid

As a result of the new rules, some mortgages were phased out. These include those requiring no documentation, interest-only loans, balloon loans, negative amortization, and loans for terms longer than 30 years. Even though these programs account for a small portion of all mortgages, it does affect certain types of borrowers such as those looking to obtain jumbo products.

Reasons for the Qualified Mortgage Rule

The housing and financial crisis was blamed on negative mortgage practices such as issuing mortgages with high-risk features or buyers obtaining home loans that were obviously beyond their means to repay. The qualified mortgage rule specifically targets harmful loan terms. It also controls excessive fees by mortgage companies. All of this was meant not only to shield consumers but also to minimize the likelihood of a future crisis. The above overview of the qualified mortgage rule for Southern California loans is intended only as an overview. To view full details on the qualified mortgage rule, visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website

An Overview Of Comparing Multiple Offers On Southern California Properties

Reviewing more than one offer can be a complex process for sellers. The inclination is to consider only price, but that might be a mistake. There are a variety of different terms in an offer that sellers should consider in order to determine the best offer. This blog contains an overview of comparing multiple offers on Southern California properties

An Overview Of Comparing Multiple Offers On Southern California Properties

Loan Pre-Approvals

There is a significant difference between a pre-qualification and a pre-approval, particularly when comparing different offers. Pre-approvals are traditionally issued after a lender confirms credit scores for a borrower. A pre-qualification includes no kind of verification. Pre-approved buyers are, as a result, better positioned to obtain commitment on a loan. A borrower who does get a mortgage will back out of the purchase. The seller will then need to get a new buyer for the home. Due to this risk, sellers will not only want a pre-approved home buyer but should also read the specifics of pre-approval letters. The type of mortgage is another relevant factor because some types of loans have strict requirements on the borrower and property, or may take longer to complete.

Conditions

It is typical for contingencies such as a mortgage approval to be included in an offer. Buyers may also include additional rare terms, such as a a contingency on the sale of another home. Less conditions lead to a higher likelihood of closing. Some conditions are more troublesome than others and can be dependent upon the condition of the market.

Deposits

Deposits reflect the good faith of a home buyer. It also covers a home owner when the buyer terminating a deal for an unexpected reason. Lastly, the amount of earnest money may reflect financial strength. For the above reasons, the dollar value of deposits must be carefully considered in multiple offer scenarios.

Price is Relative

Home owners should avoid making price the only consideration when comparing more than one offer, especially if a fast closing is a concern. Issues along the way may be costly and therefore may impact the final figures. Additionally, a property that is re-listed after an offer falls through may sell for less due to loss of momentum. A skilled real estate broker will help you carefully review all the terms of contracts and properly compare them. This article with an overview of comparing multiple offers on Southern California properties was shared by Matthew Rapoport at Homes Inc..

Selling Your Home In Southern California As-is

Real estate buyers and sellers may be familiar with the word as-is. This might be a beneficial condition for sellers, but it is critical to understand how a potential might react to that term. Here is some important information on selling your home in Southern California as-is.

Definition of As-Is

As-is signifies that a home will be sold in its current condition. This applies to any problems that may be present, whether they are visible or not. Buyers must complete an inspection to closely assess any problems before finalizing the sale. The precise interpretation of as-is can differ by state depending on the situation.

Disclosure of Property Condition

Regardless of whether the term as-is applies to a real estate contract, sellers still have a obligation to share any material defects. The use of as-is does not permit home owners to lie about problems. This is critical for sellers to know.

What Buyers May Assume

Seeing the term as-is in a listing is often intimidating for many home buyers. Many presume that it must have some major problems. For those that are prepared to accept a sale as-is, they will historically offer a lower amount to accommodate the as-is condition. Buyers should consult with a lawyer if they have concerns about their rights in connection with the use of as-is terminology.

How As-Is Benefits Sellers

Sellers often want to use the condition as-is to merely announce that they do not plan to complete any repairs on a home prior to settlement. However, from a legal standpoint, it means much more. It is obviously favorable to a seller given that it provides protection against future lawsuits from that buyer. For home buyers, it can be a red flag and they should evaluate the home with care.

Is Selling Your Home In Southern California As-is a Benefit?

This is not really a simple question. Consult with your Realtor about selling your home in Southern California as-is and whether it makes sense. He/she may also provide some advice on the affect it may have on potential buyers and the ultimate sale price. If you are not currently working with an agent, call Matthew Rapoport at Homes Inc. at (213) 334-4141.

Information On Southern California Appraised And Assessed Home Values

People usually mistake appraised home values with assessed home values. As a real estate consumer, it is useful to distinguish the difference between these terms. Information on Southern California appraised and assessed home values is provided below.

What Are Assessed Home Values

Localities require a property tax on homes. The sum is derived from a percentage and an assessed value of a piece of property. Assessments are used only for determining taxes and do not by any means relate to the real estate market price. Every municipality determines assessed value using different criteria. They traditionally include land area, interior elements, and exterior amenities such as decks. They can re-assess house values and/or increase the tax rate at regular intervals.

What Are Appraised Home Values

An appraisal is a calculation of the market price of a home by a licensed individual based on approved techniques. Banks use appraisers to confirm that financing is not being provided for higher than the actual market price of real estate. It is a part of their due process since they bear the majority of financial burdern until you lower the balance of your loan. Appraisers traditionally pull a few other listings that recently sold in the a similar town. Because the real estate market can change dramatically, reviewing recent sales is important for a proper appraisal.

Information On Southern California Appraised And Assessed Home Values

The actual price of a listing is ascertained by what a purchaser is willing to pay, which will vary continually depending on factors such as financing options. Buyers should use caution when relating assessed figures with the selling price of a property since they do not adjust in tandem. Some locations do not often modify assessments and increase tax amounts instead. Only an appraisal will provide an accurate indication of present market price. This blog regarding information on Southern California appraised and assessed home values was compiled by Matthew Rapoport at Homes Inc.. For further resources on this and other real estate matters, contact Matthew at (213) 334-4141 or [email protected]

What You Need to Know to Buy a Home in Southern California in the Next 5 Years

On average, most people buy a new home every 5 to 7 years. With so many changes to the real estate market and mortgage laws, it is helpful to start preparing for a purchase long before it’s time to actually do so. Good planning will help you save money and make better investment decisions. Here’s what you need to know to buy a home in Southern California in the next 5 years.

Interest Rates are on the Rise

For several years, the interest rates remained low. It was understandable given the housing market crisis and other things going on in the economy. However, the market has since bounced back! The economy has improved overall as well. There is no reason for the Fed to keep rates locked or low. In fact, they’re already increased the rate this year. They are likely to continue doing so. We can expect rates to rise even more over the next few years.

Although Fed rates do not directly impact mortgage interest rates, there is an indirect correlation. As rates rise, so does the cost of owning a home. Therefore, you are unlikely to afford the same priced home in the future as you do now. This may be worth considering buying now versus later.

Home Prices Will Eventually Decrease

Over time, as mortgage interest rates rise, home prices will eventually fall. However, it could take years for home prices to react to dramatic changes in interest rates. The two changes will somewhat offset one another, but that’s assuming there aren’t other contributing factors.

The market is extremely hot right now in Southern California because demand in high but inventory is low. That difference between supply and demand is what’s driving up home prices to begin with. As interest rates rise, it will be interesting to see how inventory and demand will change as well. As long as demand is high, it’s unlikely that home prices will fall, despite any increase in rates.

Preparing for a Future Home Purchase

So, here’s what you need to know to buy a home in Southern California in the next 5 years.

  1. Start paying attention to market prices and interest rates now. Seeing the patterns can help you select the opportune time to buy.
  2. Work on improving your credit. High credit scores will allow you to qualify for lower interest rates and better mortgage programs.
  3. Start saving. Even if you don’t need all the funds saved for your down payment and closing costs, good savings can make it easier to obtain mortgage approval.
  4. Identify desirable neighborhoods. Being unsure about neighborhoods can waste valuable time in the home buying process. Plus, real estate is about location.Prices can vary greatly from one community to another. In order to properly monitor the market, you really need to have a location in mind.
  5. Understand your options. It’s a good time to get educated about mortgage programs, requirements, etc. This way, you’ll know what to aim for and how to best accomplish your homeownership goals.

More on What You Need to Know to Buy a Home in Southern California

As you get closer to buying a home, it will be critical to work with the right professionals. From real estate agents to attorneys and contractors, industry professionals offer valuable information and guidance. There is so much to know when it comes to buying and selling a home. Why not rely on experts who have experience from hundreds of home sales? Being informed and prepared is the best way to make smart investment decisions when it comes to buying a home in Southern California.

Mortgage Rate Changes Affect Southern California Home Affordability

When you are pre-approved for a home loan, it is based on a certain recurring payment. The mortgage rate is assumed (in addition to other figures such as property taxes and property insurance). Mortgage rate changes affect Southern California home affordability because it affects the principal and interest component of the monthly payment. It is useful for buyers to understand this because a change in interest rates may affect properties that can be considered.

Mortgage Rate Changes

Mortgage rates can adjust on a daily basis. At certain times, they might even do so several times within a single day. As a borrower, you may not know what your specific mortgage rate is until you find a property, have an estimated settlement date, and lock in the mortgage rate. This can create some uncertainty, particularly for price sensitive buyers. It is helpful to find out what mortgage rate was originally used to determine your pre-approval and to update the pre-approval. During times when mortgage rates are constantly or dramatically moving, contact your lender before submitting an offer on a home to confirm that you still qualify for the purchase price.

Mortgage Rate Changes Affect Southern California Home Affordability

Monthly payments normally include principal, interest, municipal taxes, property insurance, and mortgage insurance (if applicable). For this illustration, we will only look at the principal and interest component of the payment. Assume that a home buyer is pre-approved for a $300,000 purchase price based on a 30-year mortgage, 3.5% down payment, and 5% mortgage rate. The principal and interest portion of the payment is approximately $1554. If the mortgage rate rises by 0.5%, that same buyer will then qualify for only $283,638. That is a decrease of over $16,000 in the purchase price, which will be a property with different features. Conversely, if mortgage rates reduce by 0.5%, the maximum price elevates to $317,843. The figures below demonstrate the affect of additional changes for this same buyer using a monthly principal and interest payment of $1554:

Mortgage Rate Loan Amt Down Payment Sale Price
4.00% $325,523 $11,807 $337,330
4.25% $315,912 $11,458 $327,370
4.50% $306,719 $11,125 $317,843
4.75% $297,921 $10,805 $308,727
5.00% $289,500 $10,500 $300,000
5.25% $281,436 $10,208 $291,643
5.50% $273,711 $9,927 $283,638
5.75% $266,308 $9,659 $275,966
6.00% $259,211 $9,401 $268,612

Remaining Informed

Be sure to ask your lender regarding the maximum monthly payment amount for which you are pre-approved. From there, you can better determine the feasibility of properties before viewing them. Remember that there are several variables to the total payment: mortgage rate, property taxes, property insurance, and mortgage insurance. If you intend to purchase a home close to the maximum pre-approval amount, then it will be essential to watch mortgage rates. Your mortgage officer and real estate representative can assist you with this analysis and offer other information on how mortgage rate changes affect Southern California home affordability.

Advantages of Tax Deferred 1031 Exchanges in Southern California

A 1031 exchange is a way to delay taxes when selling one property and buying another. It applies to business or investment real estate. When utilized properly, it can lead to dramatic savings. This article discusses the advantages of tax deferred 1031 exchanges in Southern California.

Qualified Property

You must own qualified real estate before considering a 1031 exchange. Qualified real estate are ones involved with a trade or for investment. It can include rental, land, residential, commercial, and industrial real estate. You must also buy similar real estate that is also qualified.

Advantages Of Tax Deferred 1031 Exchanges In Southern California

Usually, when you sell an investment property, capital gains taxes apply to profits from the sale. This applies regardless of what you plan to do with that money earned. Taxes can be levied by the federal and state government. Depending on how long you kept a piece of real estate and how much equity you have in it, the taxes levied can be quite significant. A 1031 exchange gives you a means to put the earnings from a property sale directly into purchasing a new like-kind property and delay capital gains taxes until you sell that additional real estate. Of course, another 1031 exchange could be performed on that future property to postpone taxes yet again.

Considering a 1031 Exchange

There are different elements to a 1031 exchange that you should be aware of BEFORE marketing aproperty. 1031 Exchanges may not be performed after a sale is complete. You must plan to perform an exchange when selling. Certain timelines must be observed to complete the exchange. This includes deadlines for selecting and purchasing replacement property. A qualified intermediary must also be used to facilitate the funds. If a deadline is missed, all applicable tax savings is forfeited. Speak with a knowledgeable 1031 exchange consultant for more on 1031 exchanges and to enjoy the full advantages of tax deferred 1031 exchanges in Southern California.