June Real Estate Mortgage News

June Real Estate Mortgage News

What to say about mortgage rates?  Well, mortgage rates were little changed this week, which is actually a good thing, considering that the homebuyer tax credit expired recently. Starts on one-family homes fell 17 percent to an annualized pace of 468,000 units in May from April’s 20-month high. In addition, permits on one-unit homes fell to the slowest pace since May 2009. But, considering the expected downturn after the expiration of the tax credit, the market is holding stable.

Nonetheless, household balance sheets have been improving over the past four quarters. Basically, households gained $6.3 trillion in net worth in the first quarter from a year ago, according to the Federal Reserve. In addition, homeowners have regained $1.1 trillion in home equity over the same time period.  For homeowners, things are on moving in a positive direction.

Conforming Loan Limits ($417,000 and Under)

Loan Program            Interest Rate            Points

30 Year Fixed                  4.500%                           1.000

10/1 ARM                         4.250%                           1.000

5/1 ARM                           3.500%                           1.000

5/1 ARM I/O                   3.500%                           1.000

Jumbo Loan Limits ($729,751 and Over)

Loan Program            Interest Rate            Points


10/1 ARM                         5.250%                           1.000

7/1 ARM                           4.875%                           1.000

5/1 ARM                           4.250%                          1.000

Agency Jumbo Limits ($417,001 – $729,750)

Loan Program            Interest Rates            Point

30 Year Fixed                   4.750%                            1.000

Money Rates

M11                                      M21

10 Yr Bond                           3.18

Prime                                     3.25

6 Month Libor                     0.75188%


6 Tips for Selling A Home in A Buyer’s Market

There’s no doubt that a buyer’s market can be challenging for sellers.  Yet it does not mean that sellers cannot enter the market – or that they cannot garner a fair price for their homes.  Home sales in a buyer’s market may take longer.  But a little creativity can go a long way toward help sellers move homes, without having to significantly drop the price.

1. Price Your Home According to the Current Market

Just because a house comparable to yours sold for a very high price last year does not mean you will be able to realize the same price when selling your home now. Work with a full-service real estate professional to determine the appropriate, competitive listing price for your home. Remember that in this market, your sales associate may encourage a list price in accordance with others currently on the market, rather than those previously sold.

2. Be Realistic About Appreciation

Since the housing market began to slow significantly in late 2007, home prices have fallen all over the country.  Yet understanding trends in your specific market is critical – as not all areas have experienced the same drops.  Some regions of the country have remained more steady relative to prices, and are even back to experiencing modest appreciations.  And if you bought your home many years ago, the gains you made in the decades before the downturn may still be far more than recent drops. So speak with your real estate professional to get a realistic view on how your home has gained or lost, relative to its value and potential price.

3. Make Your Home More Marketable

When a buyer sees your house for the first time, a critical first impression is made. If applicable, maximize curb appeal by trimming trees and planting flowers. A fresh exterior coat of paint might also prove valuable. Consider neutral colors for interior walls and carpets. Dark colors on walls, along with unnecessary clutter, make rooms look smaller.

4. Conduct a Full Home Inspection

If repairs are required, it is a good idea to go ahead and fix the problems. Potential buyers will cast an extremely critical eye over your home and, in a situation when more houses are available on the market, they may take a pass on a home that needs too many repairs. Be sure to have the home inspection report available for prospective buyers itemizing all of the repairs that have been made and the associated cost for each.

5. Offer a “Seller’s Contribution”

A seller can sweeten the deal by offering assistance to the buyer in ways that do not require lowering the asking price. These tactics can help your home to stand out from the crowd. For example:

  • Offer to buy down the interest rate on the buyer’s mortgage.
  • Offer to pay a portion of the closing costs.
  • Cover the buyer’s mortgage payments for up to the first six months. Depending upon the size of the mortgage, the buyer can save several thousand dollars and the seller still gets the original asking price for the home. It is generally more financially advantageous to do this than dropping the asking price by $30-, $20- or even just $10,000.
  • Many condos and houses across the country belong to homeowners’ associations that require annual dues. Paying the first year’s fees could be a big incentive to a buyer nearing the limit of his or her liquid assets.
  • Offer to pay off a buyer’s bills. According to Realty Times, some loan programs allow sellers to pay off the credit card debt or auto loans of the buyer which will help him or her qualify for a better mortgage and prevent the need to buy a smaller, less expensive house.

6. Don’t Worry

Properly priced homes that stand out from the competition are likely to sell.


Santa Monica Neighborhoods & Market Conditions

There are many different neighborhoods within the city of Santa Monica itself.  Each community has its own character and the market conditions also vary from neighborhood to neighborhood.  I’ll give you a thumbnail sketch of the different areas and the current markets, with a focus on condominiums and townhouses.In our current market we have about 141 total condos available for sale throughout Santa Monica.

The Sunset Park area of Santa Monica which covers the areas south of Pico Boulevard, North of Dewey, East of Lincoln Boulevard and West of Centinela consist of approximately 2709 single family homes. As of today, there are about 28 homes available in the price range of $895,000-$2.2 million and since the beginning of the year there have been 29 homes sold in the range of $610,000 to $2.2 million.  These neighborhood consist also of approx 739 condos and there are only 9 units available as of today on the market. They range in prices from a 1 bedroom at $395,000 to a 3 bedroom townhouse at $859,000. There have been 12 units sold since January 2009 with prices ranging from $445,000 – $825,000.

In the North of Wilshire Boulevard neighborhood, you might be able to get a 1 bedroom condo starting at $450,000 and a 2 bedroom with a start price of $650,000.

Ocean Avenue condos that are currently available range in prices from $700,000 – $6 million.

Condos in the Mid City area, which covers the area south of Wilshire to Colorado Ave on the south, and Centinlea Ave on the east, and Lincoln to the west,  total approximately 1500 condos.  A 1 bedroom can be had in the range of $400,000 and a 2 bedrooom starting at $450,000 to $1.3 million.

The Ocean Park area is anything west of Lincoln and South of Pico. This area covers the neighborhood all the way to the ocean. A small 2 bedroom that is on the market is available at $475,000 and can go all the way up to $2.8 million.

The numbers of available units and approximate prices will give you some idea of the current market for condominiums and townhouses in Santa Monica.  I hope this will help you in your pursuit of the perfect property.