LA Named Within Top 3 Cities to Trick-or-Treat in 2015

30 Oct 2015 · by ChrisSampaio

LA Named Within Top 3 Cities to Trick-or-Treat in 2015

By Tali Wee

image003New Los Angeles loft owners may be unaware of the city’s reputation as a Halloween hot
spot. Again this year, Los Angeles made the list of top 20 cities to go trick-or-treating. In fact, it ranked third place behind San Francisco, the five-time winner, and San Jose.

 

Each year, Zillow compiles a list of cities and neighborhoods for folks to trick or treat to earn the most candy in the shortest amount of time with the fewest safety concerns. No one wants to spend their Halloween night walking door to door for hours without returning home with a monster bag of treats.

This year the study’s methodology improved with the addition of home values, population of residents ages 15 years or younger and proximity of homes to each other. The extra factors indicate neighborhoods where residents are able to spend money on candy and trick-or-treaters have the least amount of walking for the greatest reward.

The top neighborhoods in Los Angeles this year include: Pacific Palisades, Beverly Glen, Brentwood, Cheviot Hills and Beverlywood.

If you’re living near one of these neighborhoods, prepare to experience costumed kiddos at your door this Saturday night. Or, plan to take your children out to stock up on Halloween loot. What better way to get to know your new neighbors than on a festive night walking through the community?

Alternatively, if you’re planning to sell your loft this season, jump on the trick-or-treating bandwagon and open your doors widely for visitors to peer inside. Make the loft a spectacle, cleaned to perfection with attention-grabbing spooky music and the best candy on the block. Kids will drag their parents to your door.

Conversely, if you’re on the market to buy in one of these locations, use the night out to let your eyes wander into houses and assess their local home value.

Regardless of your buying, selling or owning circumstances, Los Angeles is one of the prime locations to trick-or-treat this year.




Counting Chickens

23 Oct 2015 · by Virtual Results PubSub

Counting Chickens

If your Loft has been on the market for any length of time, or if you need to sell because of an out-of-town job change, you may be tempted to accept a contingency offer on your Loft, or anticipate the completion of the sale.

You’ve already picked out the new Loft, planned the move, chosen paint colors in your head and mentally decorated for the holidays.

This is when that old saying, “Don’t count your chicken’s before they hatch” holds true.

No one wants to accept an offer on their current Loft and then be disappointed that the sale falls through. You want it to be a solid deal from the get go.

Before you jump at an offer, take the time to consider and anticipate why a sale may fall apart and take steps to mitigate your exposure. Your real estate professional is prepared for this, so listen to their advice when making decisions on accepting offers.

Here are some areas to watch for, any one of which can become a deal-breaker:

  1. Disappointing appraisals:Sometimes, the appraisal can come in lower than expected. If it is lower than the list price it can delay the sale. A buyer’s lender will only lend up to the property’s value, so unless the buyer is willing to make up the difference in cash, or you’re willing to lower your price, the deal may fall through. To protect yourself from a low appraisal, have your real estate professional give you a fair market value (FMV) quote that anticipates differences in the local market.If there is considerable difference between your FMV and the buyer’s appraisal, you can request that the buyer get a second appraisal. Sometimes appraisers just miss stuff. But, sometime we believe our property is worth more that the market actually will bear.

 

  1. Lower than expected comparable Loft sales:It is possible that your Loft is an exception. That means that there are no truly comparable Lofts within a specified distance of your Loft. In particular, this may be true of Lofts in rural developments, larger estates or completely remodeled and upgraded Lofts in older neighborhoods.In this case, ask for comparable Loft sales to include Lofts further away or with more similar upgrades and amenities.
  2. Documentation errors:Misspelled names, transposed address numbers and a host of other potential errors can derail closing documents. Take the time to review each and every document as you see it the first time. Request corrections immediately and then review the new documents.
  3. Title insurance glitches:If you inherited your Loft, have suffered a divorce, or bought the Loft through less than conventional means—a wrap-around loan or lease-option, for example—the title of your Loft may not correctly reflect your ownership.From the moment you begin considering selling your Loft, take the time to check on your title and any other paperwork, past loans, former liens, other possible glitches to a clear title. Be proactive so that you aren’t surprised on closing day.
  4. Buyer financing problems:It all comes down to money. As much as a buyer may love your Loft and want to buy it, if they don’t have the financial means, they can’t do it.Before agreeing to an offer, make sure the buyer is pre-qualified and pre-approved for the loan in the amount required to buy your Loft. You don’t want to learn at the last minute that they buyer’s loan is for $10,000 less than you’re asking. If you’ve already made an offer or bought another Loft, you’ll be tempted to take the lower amount, potentially losing thousands of dollars.
  5. Contingency offers:When a buyer also has a Loft to sell, no amount of preparation on your part can save the sale of your Loft from imploding if the buyer’s contingency falls through.If you need to sell your Loft quickly, DO NOT accept a contingency offer. On the other hand, if you have plenty of time to sell your Loft, locking in a buyer with a contingency might be the right call (if prices might appear to be falling, for example). Work with your real estate professional to determine if a contingency offer is right for your situation.
  6. Last-minute lender requests:Sometimes it comes down to paperwork and sometimes it comes down to the lender wanting just one more piece of reassurance that the buyer can handle the mortgage. This may particularly be true of FHA, USDA and other government backed loans. Since the real estate bubble and banking collapse, the rules for certain loans have tightened.Refer back to #6. Make sure your buyer is pre-qualified and pre-approved, has the downpayment in the bank and is prepared to close in a timely manner. Let your agent work with their agent to make certain everything is in place before locking in that offer.




New Tool from The MLS

5 Nov 2015 · by ChrisSampaio

The MLS has a great new toll that agents can use to analyze the market. It provides graphics by area based on your criteria. For instance if you would like to know what was the price of 2 bedroom condos in Downtown LA between 2014 and 2015 you just push a few buttons and the software will display, then you can download as a PDF, send by email or even have it live on your website like in the examples below. This can be applied to any area, zip code or you can even create your own custom area with a map. Really useful stuff! If you would like to know the trends for you neighborhood email me and I can send you a custom map.




Buyers: Don’t Let Halloween Creep Up On You

16 Oct 2015 · by Virtual Results PubSub

Home Buyers: Don't Let Halloween Creep Up On YouConventional wisdom is that spring is the best time for selling—and buying—a Loft. It’s the time of year when the most Loft are on the market. In fact, lots of buyers believe that if they haven’t found the Loft of their dreams by the end of the summer, they’re stuck in their nightmare for two more seasons. They think they don’t have a ghost of a chance getting into a place before the holidays.

Don’t be tricked: That’s simply not true.

For motivated sellers, there’s actually no bewitching hour before the end of October.

While it is the case that some sellers will take their Loft off the market in anticipation of the winter holidays, for those needing to sell, October is still the perfect time to show their Loft and even offer discounts to well-qualified buyers.

It’s a great time for you to get treats instead of tricks!

According to a survey of more than 30 million sold places over the last 15 years, October buyers save, on average, 2.6 percent on the purchase price.

This year there is an even better treat … interest rates have remained at historic lows while the economy improves. Most analysts believe that rates will begin to rise by year’s end or early into next year. Getting a mortgage now insures that you’re taking advantage of the best rates available.

Speaking of treats, another advantage is being able to take tax breaks, discounts on upgrades to energy-efficient systems and more.

No tricks, all treats!

Even better than tax breaks, you’ll be able to enjoy less paperwork as new regulations for required buyer forms begin. The information formerly required by four forms was merged into just two, reducing time and confusion for buyers. The new process protects buyers from “tricks” at closing that change the deal.

  • The new rules required by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, became effective Oct. 3.
  • The Good Faith Estimate and Truth in Lending disclosures are eliminated and combined into the single Loan Estimate form.
  • Buyers must receive the Loan Estimate no later than three business days after receiving the application.
  • The Closing Disclosure form replaced final Truth in Lending Disclosure and HUD-1 Settlement Statement and must be provided to the buyer 3 full days before closing. Any changes during that 72-hour period can delay the closing. This change protects the buyer from the current process that allows the HUD-1 Settlement Statement to be presented to the buyer as late as the day of closing. It stops changes being made to the statement during the loan closing.
  • The new rules streamline the loan application process. They make it easier for consumers to clearly understand the costs by detailing all relevant details on a single page: (1) the interest rate of the mortgage loan, (2) the amount of the monthly payments and (3) a listing of all the closing costs.
  • Consumers applying for adjustable rate mortgages now have documents that explain how their interest rate and future monthly payments could change based on various certain factors.

The best treat of all!

Your family will appreciate being in a new Loft for the holidays too!

 




Lighten Up Dark Spaces Naturally

9 Oct 2015 · by Virtual Results PubSub

Lighten Up Dark Spaces NaturallyYou saved up your money and survived the rigors of mortgage underwriting, packed up your apartment, loaded the truck and moved into your new Loft. After several urgent days of unpacking, rearranging furniture and filling cupboards, you settle into your new place, ready to enjoy the pleasures of Loft-ownership.

You wake up on about day ten to the realization that your new Loft is a cave—literally! There is no light coming into your Loft. You know you have more space, but it feels like less.

Now what do you do?

Many older Lofts, especially those built from office buildings, do not have the expanses of glass that the ones built from warehouses boast. Some just have narrow, historical windows and other have small windows up near the ceiling. In times past, these smaller windows acted as a conservation measure. Less light into the Loft means a cooler Loft and therefore, a lower air conditioning bill. In winter climates, smaller windows translate into less heat loss and lower winter heating bills.

While your long-term plans may include enlarging window openings and installing high-efficiency windows, in the meantime, you need to lighten up your Loft so that you can enjoy it now.

Use a light hand when decorating

When the goal is to bring more light into a dark space, reflective surfaces are your friends.

  • Lighten up your paint.

Interior paint colors come rated by light reflective value (LRV). The LRV scale goes from zero percent—no reflective value— to 100%, which translates to a completely reflective “white” value. In the real world, neither zero percent (black), or one hundred percent (white) reflectivity exists, but other colors fall in the spectrum between the two extremes. For example, an average black (think chalkboard paint) may range about five percent while basic very white wall paint is nearer to 85 percent. Dominantly yellow colors may fall into the higher ranges as well.

You may find the LRV code on the back of a paint swatch, or in the “fanbook” that your paint retailer should have. The higher the code value, the more light the color reflects and the brighter your room will seem.

When choosing paint with light reflection in mind, you can maximize the daylight entering your smaller windows with a ceiling paint with a higher LRV, and complementary wall colors with slightly lower values to visually warm up your room.

  • Add reflective surfaces.

Use mirrors, glass and metallic surfaces to bounce the existing light around the room. Setting mirrors on opposing walls allows light to reflect into infinity. A mirror at the end of a narrow entryway allows it to appear more spacious and open. Use mirrors to balance walls with off-centered or asymmetric windows.

Adding metallic or glass tiles to a backsplash or shower increases the reflected light in a room. Or, simply add reflective touches to your décor such as silver or shiny brass sconces, metallic frames or crystal vases.

  • Avoid dark surfaces.

Dark window coverings, furnishings and area rugs absorb light too. When choosing Venetian blinds, pick white or anther light color rather than wood-grain or faux-wood styles. Blinds tilted toward the ceiling reflect light upwards, offering both light and privacy. You may achieve a similar effect with Panama shutters, but remember that the shutter frame may reduce the window opening, therefore diminishing the reflected light.

After you’ve saved up for renovations, consider skylights and solar tubes to increase your interior light without changing the historic design of your Loft.




There’s an App for That

2 Oct 2015 · by Virtual Results PubSub

There's an App for ThatYou don’t know what you don’t know, so how many Loftbuyers or Loft-sellers know they can use their smart phones to get smarter about the process?

It doesn’t matter how far along in your Loft-buying process you’ve come, you can always tweak things to simplify your life. Adding these nifty apps to your smart phone frees up some of your time to find just the right Loft.

Loft by FannieMae™

The Loft by FannieMae app gives your resources to prepare your finances, figure out what you can afford, learn all about the process of buying a Loft, ways to plan for Loft maintenance and even calculate potential savings on future Loft mortgage payments.

It features a dashboard to help you keep track of how you’re moving through the process and even offers instructive videos.

HomeSnap

Available for both Apple and Android phones, this app features unique technology that instantly tells you all about any Loft you snap a picture of. You can learn how much it is worth, when it last sold and even how much it sold for. You’ll see information about the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and garage spaces. You can see the lot size and even the school district. The app gives you access to information about more than 90 million Lofts across the United States. For Lofts currently on the market, you may even have access to interior photos.

Using LoftSnap helps you narrow down your Loft search before you go to the effort to take Loft tours.

Loft Hunter

The LoftHunter app allows you to keep track of your entire search for your dream Loft. It stores information, notes and pictures for every Loft you look at and even allows a rating system so you can evaluate and compare each Loft you tour. Score each Loft based on requirements you specify with Loft Hunter’s proprietary scorecard system. View images of multiple Lofts at once to help you remember which Loft is which.

AroundMe

Not just for real estate, the AroundMe app shows you what you can find in any area. So, if your find the Loft of your dreams, you can also see the nearby hot spots, where to find the dry cleaners, restaurants and even hospitals. It can connect you with taxi services, points of interest and a plethora of other nearby information so that you can learn about a potential neighborhood quickly without having to do exhaustive searches.

Dictionary of Real Estate Terms

Every industry has its own language and LD Real Estate Dictionary is the app that can help you. From “points” to “policy” this app has more than 2000 common real estate terms and their definitions in common English. Navigate the massive paperwork with ease and understanding with this app.

Your agent’s mobile-friendly site

Best of all, your real estate professional’s own mobile-friendly responsive website can keep you connected to the latest listings so you can check them out on your way Loft from work. Check out the new listings, view stunning images and contact your agent all from the mobile site.