Mortgage Questions Answered for Homebuyers

When looking for a home, one of the biggest concerns you will have as a buyer is your mortgage. This is not something any home buyer should take lightly. You’ll be paying this rate for 30 years (Unless you decide to move well before then). How large will your mortgage be? What’s the monthly rate? You should research lenders to find one that works best for you.

The most recent rates have changed little over the past year. As of July 19, the 30-year fixed mortgage stood at 4.08%, while the 15-year fixed sat at 3.48%. The adjustable rate mortgage stayed still at 3.92%.

So, what does all this mean for you?

It means that right now is a great time to buy a home. Mortgage rates change as regularly as a heartbeat, but they are low. For those of you who bought a home before the Great Recession, you remember those rates. They were high. Those of you who bought homes decades ago, in the 80s and earlier, remember those sky-high rates.

However, those days are long gone. They are not even a speck on the rearview mirror. The rates today and those in the near future, as they stay around those numbers, make it a smart decision to purchase a home.

But what if you are looking for a luxury home?

Your options are slightly smaller. This is due to limits on the conventional loan amount you can receive through a lender thanks to regulations (usually the limits are proscribed by Fannie May and Freddie Mac, whom we’ll discuss later).

The jumbo mortgage differs from a regular mortgage because the lenders are taking a great risk. It’s also for these reasons that the requirements to qualify for a jumbo mortgage are stricter. The buyer must pay a higher down payment than conventional loans, up to 30% of the home’s value. The buyer must also have a great credit score (Higher than 700), strong debt-to-income ratio (This means the amount of debt you have versus the amount of income you make. In this case, it can be no greater than 43%). The buyer also needs to have up to a year of reserves in the bank to ensure that they can keep paying for the house should something catastrophic happen, like the loss of a job.

What is the next step? How do you find the right mortgage for you?

There are several options to choose from. Fannie May or Freddie Mac. Just about every bank. Mortgage lenders. The VA. Even an online mortgage company. You have more options than you ever thought possible. But you need to research each of those options to find the best one.

Depending on your preferences and your current finances, you should shop around for the best terms. Don’t just go to the first place and say, ‘I’d like a mortgage, please.’ Unless you have a long-standing relationship with a bank who will give you preferential treatment, it pays to check out several banks, mortgage lenders, Fannie and Freddie, and so forth to determine the best option for you now and in the future. It also helps to ask about how you can refinance your mortgage in the future as many homeowners refinance their mortgages at some point to take advantage of better rates.

If you are not sure where to start, ask your real estate agent. We have relationships with a variety of mortgage lenders and we can help you set up informational meetings to discover your best option. We are your ally in both buying a home and finding financing for your new home. It’ll pay to ask, sometimes literally.

Contact The Shevins today for a consultation on anything
Calabasas and Hidden Hills real estate.

Summer Maintenance Checklist for Your Home

Summer is here, which means you have to prep your home for the summer season. Some of your home features have just been sitting there over the winter months. Here’s a checklist by Realty Times on the maintenance that needs to get done before you open up your house to summer guests.

Inspect Your Air Conditioner

As temperatures warm, you’ll want to stay cool. And in order to enjoy the benefits of cooled-air you’ll need to make sure that your air conditioner is running properly. Throughout the winter and spring months it is common for your air conditioner’s condensing coils to get filled up with dust, lint, grass clippings and other debris. This can impair the units function. If you have debris, it’s an easy fix. In most cases the debris can be cleared with a high-pressure spray down from a water house. It’s also important to clear the area around your air conditioner unit. This means no overgrowing vines or shrubbery that can hamper its ability to operate.

Clean Up Your Grill

Thinking about hosting a few cookouts this season? Not before you clean the grill. If you don’t already have a grill cover, invest in one to keep it protected from the elements throughout the other seasons. Your first task includes scrubbing your grill grate with a wire brush. This should also be done every time you grill, but let’s face it, sometimes it’s overlooked. Next, remove and wash your burner protectors. These can be removed easily. Toss them in a soap-filled five-gallon bucket and get to scrubbing. After that, wipe up the grime from your burners and clean the plates underneath with a wire brush. The plates are also removable. Finally, remove the bottom tray that serves as a collect-all, give it a wash and put all of your pieces back in order. Then, you’ll be ready to throw some steaks on the fire.

Check for Pests

Many types of pests thrive in the summer months. Due to summer temperatures, which affect behavior and development of common pests, ample food sources and increased daylight, many house and yard pests thrive throughout these months. But homeowners can prevent pests. First, check moist areas around your home and yard, like the gutters, for example, as these moist areas are hotspots for pest activity. Take a hard look at your home and inspect the outside of your house for cracks, crevices and holes, as these can be used as access points for unwanted pests, large and small. While you may be able to treat and prevent a number of pests, some pests, including wildlife, require special removal. If you suspect an infestation it is wise to contact a specialist or professional, as these trained experts have the skills necessary to properly remove wildlife nuisances.

Contact us today for a consultation on anything Calabasas and Hidden Hills real estate.