Moving Checklist: RealtorKJ

The whirlwind of moving can quickly take on the effects of a hurricane when you add in kids, pets, or special circumstances. As is the case with most things in life, planning is key!

Whether you have six months, or six days to get it all done, just take a deep breath, prepare and let’s get planning!

Once you have decided to move, and established a loose timeline, its time to prep, prioritize and pack. Knowing what you touch and use daily as opposed to items in closets, storage and in the very back of cupboards makes it easier to start packing early on. If you are able to spread the work out, you, your family, and your pets will all feel at ease.

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Why Home Buyers Need a Clue about the Mortgage Process

I Spy Fisheye
By Gino Blefari
President & CEO
Intero Real Estate Services, Inc.

As demand continues to pick up from home buyers, the mortgage lending market can expect gains from purchase loans. There’s just one snag: a third of home buyers are ill-prepared for the mortgage process, and can’t answer basic questions about down payments, interest rates and lender rules.

survey released by Zillow last week found that home buyers answered basic questions about mortgages wrong 32.5% of the time.

Some of the misinformation out there includes:

  • 34% of first-time buyers surveyed aren’t aware that it’s possible to get a mortgage with less than 5% down.
  •  Home buyers also don’t understand how to secure the best possible interest rates and loan terms. 26% incorrectly believe they are obligated to close their loan with the lender that pre-approved them. 24% incorrectly believe that they’ll get the best rates and fees through the bank they currently do business with. And 34% of buyers believe all lenders are required by law to charge the same fees for credit reports and appraisals.
  •  Further misinformation and beliefs exist in refinancings, with 25% saying it’s not possible for underwater borrowers to refinance. In fact, 2.2 million underwater borrowers have refinanced under the federal Home Affordable Refinance Program, which was recently extended through 2015. And almost half (47%) of current homeowners believe they must wait at least one year between refinancings.

Why is this story significant?

A number of reasons. For one, as the market picks up speed, we need more savvy buyers among our ranks to keep it moving. Understanding the mortgage process enables a borrower to navigate it better and more quickly, which we’re seeing is really important in markets where inventory moves fast.

In hot markets that have tight supply, buyers who’ve gone through pre-approval and/or better prepared themselves for the loan process will be the more attractive offer for sellers. They’re more likely to qualify for financing and close faster than their unprepared counterparts.

In addition, as we saw with the financial market collapse, recession and housing downturn five years ago, the unsavvy borrower is not only a danger to himself, but to our economy as a whole.

So, how do you educate yourself if you’re in the market to buy? You can read up on the basics at the Mortgage Professor, a site with great information from a non-interested third party (i.e., it’s not your bank giving you advice). You can engage in discussions with your Intero Real Estate agent, who can recommend local sources.

This is an important piece of the housing recovery that until now hasn’t received much attention. How can we expect a healthy purchase market if buyers don’t know how to navigate their loans? Maybe borrower education will (or should) be the next big area of innovation in our market.

The ONLY Cities You Should Be Renting In

Renting versus buying has been a hot topic in today’s real estate market, as many people cannot decide to pay more than what their home is worth or decide to burn their credit and go into foreclosure.  When people ask for my professional advice, I like to ask where they live and what are their real estate goals.  Sometimes it may be better to rent for an individual in cities like Honolulu, San Francisco, and New York, as you can see in the chart below.  However I can send you a rent vs buy sheet that allows you to input your specific needs, request at


Market Matters: Try a Naked Room

By Katie Eichten is the SVP of Capital Markets at Western Bancorp (WBC)

The secret to his acting success? "I just did it, got through it and got ot of the way," Terry Bradshaw says.Recent Pew survey: 78%: Percent of 25-34 year olds who have lived with their parents and are satisfied with the arrangement. 78%…

For all of you who are looking for some peace and quiet in your twilight years, you may want to consider taking up some kind of offensive hobby between now and then. For a uniquely offensive approach, try Terry Bradshaw, “In Failure to Launch”,  a hilarious (old) movie where the parents retire and the Dad decides to convert his son’s old room to his “Naked Room”. Seeing Terry Bradshaw naked at 244 lbs would do it for me…I’d be  sleeping at work.
But seriously, one boom to a housing recovery would be young adults moving out of their parents’ homes and starting their own households.But what if they don’t want to?
The recession has caused an increase in young adults living in multigenerational households. According to Census data analyzed by the Pew Research Center 21.6% of 25-34 year olds lived in such an arrangement in 2010, up from 11% in 1980. One argument for a coming rebound in home sales and construction has centered on those young adults being able to form their own households.
The recession has created financial barriers for younger Americans looking to start their own households, including high unemployment and debt. Recent improvements in the job market and overall economy have sparked hopes that those barriers are beginning to break down.
Ok, now for the scary part:
But that assumes 25-34 year olds want to go it alone. “If there’s supposed to be a stigma attached to living with mom and dad through one’s late twenties or early thirties, today’s ‘boomerang generation’ didn’t get that memo. Among the three-in-ten young adults ages 25 to 34 (29%) who’ve been in that situation during the rough economy of recent years, large majorities say they’re satisfied with their living arrangements (78%),”writes Kim Parker, senior researcher at the Pew Social & Demographic Trends.
Its hard to imagine who these kids are…hopefully, as much as we love them, not ours.

Monday Real Estate Market Myth: Tenants Display Political Signs

Myth: Landlords can restrict tenants on political signs and postings.

False: Last year tenants won the right to post political and election based material on the property they are renting with reasonable restrictions with Senate Bill 337. The sign ban be limited to six square feet, and can post 90 days before the election or vote and must be taken down 15 days after.  The Civil Code protects people’s opinion no matter if they rent or own a property.

In California March tenants will be able to publicly display their opinion for the Presidential Election that has a big impact on the housing industry.  Make sure you register to vote, as California will have a big stance in the running.  For more information click here.

 For more information and to find a reputable lender contact local real estate agent Kristen Jurevich at 831.635.6719 in the Hollister, San Juan, Aromas, Gilroy, Salinas, Monterey, or surrounding areas.

Craigslist Scammers on the Prowl for Renters

After just receiving a call from an unfortunate San Franciscan who drove the 90 miles to Hollister to look at a fake rental, I want people to be aware of the scammers trying to get into your wallet and financial accounts.  Listing are spread all throughout the internet on multiple home search sites, and many have misleading and incorrect information.  It is best to find the listing agent or licensed agent in good standing if the home is for sale or contact the brokerage or official rental office of the home that is for rent.  As a local Realtor, I can help you find a place that is secure.  Who knows, you may even qualify to purchase.

Credit Score 101

Payment history: 35%, Amounts owed: 30%, Length of credit history: 15%, New credit: 10%, Types of credit used: 10%

A credit score is a combination of many differnent categories that are affected by what you owe money on, when you paid it back, how long have you had the line open, and much more.

Americans are ranked along this score board, in order to figure out how we compare to each other.  The positive aspects are:

  • Loans are quicker with lower interest rates
  • Credit decisions are fairer and not based off the list below
  • Over time you are forgiven

The following information is not considered by the FICO scoring formula:

  • Your race, color, religion, national origin, sex, or marital status
  • Your age
  • Your salary, occupation, title, employer, date employed, or employment history
  • Where you live
  • Any interest rate being charged on a particular credit card or other account
  • Certain types of inquiries (such as promotional, account review, insurance or employment-related inquiries)
  • Credit counseling
  • Any information not found in your credit report
  • Any information that is not proven to be predictive of future credit performance

With the current market, as a Realtor, I am asked how long will bad information stay on credit.  Here are the standard timeline, but the ability to purchase a home depends on the circumstance for each of these actions:

  • Late payments: 7 years
  • Bankruptcies: 7 years for completed Chapter 13 bankruptcies and 10 years for Chapter 7 bankruptcies.
  • Foreclosures: 7 years
  • Collections: Generally, about 7 years, depending on the age of the debt being collected.
  • Public Record: Generally 7 years, although unpaid tax liens can remain indefinitely.

Because the credit score affects so many things such as purchasing a house, getting another credit card, increasing your credit limit, renting property, etc. you need to make sure you
protect your private information by not leaving financial information lying around your house or office, shred mail before putting in the garbage, check bank statements on a secure website twice a month to catch things earlier, never keep a copy of your social security anywhere (best to memorize your number), choose a tough password that no one will guess (think random), do not give out your information to anyone even if they say it is for something important (the best thieves are the experienced ones)
Unfortunately people steal credit information and it causes a lot of pain to the victim.  A few people to watch out for on a nationwide level:
  1. Someone close to you: friend or neighbor
  2. Family
  3. Service employee like waiter or cashier
  4. Online criminal
  5. Employee at a bank
  6. Someone at work
  7. Everyone else