What’s a Hard-Money Loan, and Do I Want One?

Most of us don’t have several hundred thousand dollars in cash lying around, so when we want to purchase real estate (or invest in a business or embark on other expensive endeavors), we need a loan. Conventional bank loans require borrowers to follow strict guidelines regarding proof of income and creditworthiness. This works well for … Read more

What Happens If You Sign a Contract, But Didn’t Mean It

When it comes to real estate contracts, I always suggest that people involved in the transaction do three things: read and understand the contract, make sure the contract accurately reflects their intentions, and be sure they can abide by its terms. This applies to buyers and sellers, but it is usually buyers who change their … Read more

It’s a Buyer’s and a Seller’s Market

Right now it’s a buyer’s and a seller’s market. How can it be both? It’s these low interest rates. Low rates allow more people to qualify for loans, bringing renters into the home-buying market. Low rates also make it easier for homeowners who want to upgrade to afford more expensive homes. On a typical $300,000 … Read more

Building Your Own Home – Get the Skinny Up Front

Purchasing a to-be-built home is completely different from buying an existing home. When building your own home, whether it’s customizing a spec home or creating a custom home from scratch, you can avoid expensive misunderstandings by asking your contractor some key questions up front. Building a custom home on land you’ve purchased is a big … Read more

There’s More to a Loan Officer Than Rates

One of the most common questions any Realtor gets is, “Which lender can get me the lowest rates?” While rates are vital, the better question is, “Which lender provides the best value?” The loan officer handing your loan can either make life fairly simple or incredibly miserable. The one you found online may have promised … Read more

Servicing Loans — Not for the Faint of Heart

Okay, so you sold your property and allowed the buyer to pay you some of the purchase price over time: you are now in the business of loan servicing, a business so full of rules that many banks have opted out. Some of the rules are easy to comply with; others border on the impossible. … Read more

FHA 203K Loans – Right for the Just Right Buyer

When it’s time to buy a house, many different types of loans are available, depending on your status: are you a first-time homebuyer, a California veteran, or planning to renovate? This week, I’ll highlight the pros and cons of a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) 203K loan. The FHA 203K loan is appropriate for those with … Read more

Saving Money Without Too Much Pain

A few years back, it became popular to reduce the interest expense of a home mortgage by dividing the monthly payment in half and making two payments each month. This also helped those on a budget align the timing of their expenses and with the timing of their paychecks. While I don’t hear about this … Read more

What’s It All Mean? Real Estate Definitions

Real estate, like many industries, has a whole language of terms and definitions that make sense to those of us who live and breathe real estate, but that can leave homeowners in the dark. So I thought I’d shed a little light on the subject. Licensed Real Estate Agent – someone licensed by the California … Read more