Private Mortgage Insurance

Private Mortgage Insurance

What Is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) and Why Is It Required?   Many homebuyers will encounter private mortgage insurance when purchasing a home with a conventional loan.  Find out what private mortgage insurance is and how to avoid it.   What is Private Mortgage Insurance? Private mortgage insurance, or PMI, is a type of mortgage insurance used with conventional loans that protects the lender against loss if a borrower defaults on their loan.  Private mortgage insurance does not protect the borrower.  While PMI only applies to conventional loans, FHA loans have their own mortgage insurance with different requirements. When is PMI...Read more
5 Simple Home Improvements to Increase Your Home’s Value

5 Simple Home Improvements to Increase Your Home’s Value

Some home improvements cost more than they are worth.  Here are 5 simple home improvements worth more than they cost!   Some projects will protect your dollars more than others if you’re planning to sell in a few years.  Invest your time and money wisely, and your home improvements can increase your home’s value. The Data Want to know how to get the most bang for your buck with a home remodel?  Check out Remodeling’s website.  Since 2002, this trade magazine for contractors and builders has been tracking common home improvement projects and how much of the cost of each...Read more
Zoning

Zoning

Zoning of real property affects the legal land use of a parcel or area.  Learn how to identify zoning types and the permissions and restrictions associated with them. What is Zoning? Most communities in the United States are governed by zoning laws.  Zoning laws are the regulations and/or restrictions for land use.  These guidelines are established by officials at the local level and divide the city or county into different geographic zones, identifying what uses can and cannot be made on each parcel.  The overall objective of zoning is to protect public health, safety, and welfare, to promote compatibility between various...Read more
California Mortgage Programs & Downpayment Assistance

California Mortgage Programs & Downpayment Assistance

Looking for a California Mortgage Program?  Learn about CalHFA Mortgage Programs and Downpayment Assistance. California has some really impressive programs to make the purchase of a home more approachable for working class families.  The California Housing Finance Agency, or CalHFA, is one of the premier agencies providing assistance for first-time homebuyers. What is CalHFA? The California Housing Finance agency was established in 1975 as the State’s affordable housing bank to make low interest loans through the sale of tax-exempt bonds.  CalHFA is a completely self-supporting State agency, and its bonds are repaid by revenues generated through mortgage loans, not taxpayer dollars. ...Read more
What is Rent Control?

What is Rent Control?

Learn about how rent control affects the landlord-tenant relationship. If you live in a major metropolitan area in California, chances are you have run into the term “rent control”.  The west coast has long been a popular relocation locale and California metropolitan areas are growing at staggering rates.  California has seen an incredible population and development increase in recent years.  While these increases can mean big gains for big businesses, it is often at the expense of middle income and low income renters. Companies like Air BnB have put additional pressure on the rental market as investors are taking properties...Read more
Renters Pay More For “Green”

Renters Pay More For “Green”

A new study reveals just how much renters will pay for environmentally friendly features. Consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious, even when it comes to the home they decide to rent.  A new survey from the National Multifamily Housing council has found that not only do renters prefer apartments with sustainable design features, they are also willing to pay more for them. Multifamily builders have been putting more focus on environmental friendliness in new construction for years, but much of that is due to regulation rather than market demand.  Many of the latest building codes require that new apartments include...Read more
How to Get A Home Loan

How to Get A Home Loan

Not all lenders are created equal! Find out how to secure the best home loan to fit your needs. If you are thinking about buying a new home, one of the first steps is to establish your price range.  The best way to determine your home buying power is to speak with a lender or mortgage banker/broker.  S/he will ask you for information to determine your debt to income ratio (DTI).  You will need to provide tax returns, W2s, pay stubs, and bank statements, and they will also need to obtain your credit score.  There are usually no up-front fees...Read more
California Probate Sales

California Probate Sales

Are California probate sales a great deal or risky business? If you are in the market for discounted properties, chances are you have encountered a probate sale.  Probate sales are accompanied by a specific legal process that is different from the average sale of real estate.  If you are looking at probate properties, it is important to be informed of the probate process to be prepared for the steps ahead. The material presented below is for general informational purposes only and may not cover all of the intricacies and possibilities for a particular probate sale.  Consult your licensed California real...Read more
What is Vesting and How Should I Take Title When Buying a Property in California?

What is Vesting and How Should I Take Title When Buying a Property in California?

Vesting for real property can have important legal and financial implications and can affect an owner’s interest, control, or transferability of the property. When a title deed is written for real property, ownership is usually described using the name of the owner(s) and a clarifying legal description.  This is known as “vesting” or “taking title”.  When preparing to purchase a property, it is important to understand the different ways of taking title and how it impacts your ownership.  The following definitions are common types of vesting and are intended as an informational overview only.  Consumers should not rely on these as...Read more
Is an Encumbrance Affecting the Value of Your Property?

Is an Encumbrance Affecting the Value of Your Property?

Find out how non-possessory interests, or encumbrances, can affect the value of your property. An encumbrance is an interest in real property that is held by someone other than the owner of the property.  Anything that affects the use or the title of a property is an encumbrance.  Encumbrances are very common and while it is not always a problem to purchase an encumbered property, it is important to understand the type of encumbrance you are dealing with to know how it may limit the use or transferability of your property. Encumbrances fall into two general categories: financial encumbrances and...Read more