Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Seven Different Reasons To Own Your Own Home…

You've probably seen lots of financial arguments about why you should own your own home rather than rent. This includes budgeting (no rent increases) and the tax savings you'll most likely have. Now we're going to give you some reasons you probably haven't heard.

#1: Freedom to pursue other goals in life once the major goal of home ownership is achieved.

Strange as it sounds, many of our first-time buyers have told us that once they bought the house, other things in their life started to fall into place. It's as if not owning took so much of their mental energy that other goals were not worked on until that big goal was reached. So buy a home and get on with your life!

#2: A greater sense of belonging to the community.

Once you own a home, you feel more attached to the city in which you live. You're more interested in what happens in town, to the roads, schools, and shopping areas. Some people even become involved in local politics.

#3: A commitment to something, a sense of stability.

Home ownership is an anchor, something that cannot be pulled out from under you. You'll never get a notice that you have to move. You're kids will never have to change schools. It gives you freedom to plan years ahead.

#4: You can change things, a feeling of being in control.

It's your home. You can add to it, remodel it, change the landscaping, do whatever projects you want. You have a feeling of being in control of something in your life. At work we don't always have control of what happens, but your home is your castle and you have dominion over it. You can see what you're building take shape before your eyes.

#5: More control over the children than in an apartment complex.

In a neighborhood, kids usually play in the yards or go to friend's houses a few doors away. Our clients have told us that in an apartment complex they never knew where the kids were. They could be in any of hundreds of apartments, doing who knows what. In a home you get to know the neighbors and watch out for each other's kids.

#6: Children do better in school and feel more secure.

This one surprised us, but buyers have reported to us that their kids calmed down in school after they bought a house. We don't know why, but it seems to work that way. We remember a single mom watching her son play in the yard, making steps in the slope and building things. She didn't have to tell him to leave everything alone, like she did at the apartment complex. I guess kids feel the same need for control we adults do.

#7: Time and money saved by not going to the Laundromat.

A small point, but if you have kids, you know the value of this one. You gain a whole evening a week when you buy a house! The wash gets done in between other things, or while you're at work. What would you do with the extra evening you'll have? How about going out for dessert with your spouse with all those quarters?

We've been in a home of our own for so long; we take these benefits for granted. We forgot what it's like to be renters! If you have anything you can add to the list, please let us know via email. We would love to hear from you!

This Surf City Lifestyles Report was provided to you by the Surf City Kahunas of Real Estate:

The Louison Team
Raymond and Stephanie Louison
Real Estate Consultants and Realtors
714-925-5361 or 714-307-2934
Website: http:www.soldonhb.com

REMAX Real Estate Services
Each office independently owned and operated

All information deemed reliable, however not guaranteed!

How to Buy a House

Can I Afford a Home?

Many people never buy a home because they don’t think they have enough money for the down payment. They’ve been told that they need 10-20% of the purchase price in order to buy a home. This isn’t true.

So, why have so many real estate companies told them this? It’s simple.
Selling homes to people with 10-20% down is easier than selling homes to people who have little or no money for a down payment. Most agents prefer the easy sale.

We have a different mission: To help people. That’s why I created this special report and sent it to you with no obligation. This information is designed for people with good credit and income, but little cash for a down-payment.

Option 1: FHA Loans – Best Bet
Although this isn’t a “No Money Down” option, the FHA loan is by far one of the best alternatives for people who want to buy a home and don’t have much money to put down. With an FHA loan, you could put down as little as 3.5%. Plus, FHA loans are easier to qualify for.

While you can’t borrow the 3.5%, you can get a “gift” from a family member, borrow from your 401k, or sell some “stuff” you have lying around. At the end of this report, we’ve included a special section with great ideas for raising this small amount required for an FHA loan.

FHA loans do have requirements and restrictions:
• Not all townhomes and condos qualify.
• There is a maximum loan amount.

Option 2: Some Special Loan Programs
Special loan programs come and go quickly.

Loan One: Allows the seller to provide the 3.5% downpayment required for a home loan. That means little money out of your pocket if you know how to negotiate with the seller!

Loan Two: Requires only 5% including closing costs – wow!

So, how do you find out what type of loan programs are available for you right now?
The best way is to work with a great mortgage broker who keeps up to speed on these special programs. If you don’t know of one, we work with at least three such mortgage professionals, and we would be happy to refer you.

Option 3: Owner Financing
Owner financing means exactly that: The owner (or seller) finances a portion of your home purchase.

For example, you might borrow 80% of the value of a home from a lending institution, and “borrow” the other 20% from the owner. In this situation, the owner “carries back” a second mortgage.

Owner financing can be advantageous, especially to investors who buy up properties and then rent them out. For the average homebuyer, however, owner financing is difficult to find and requires some tricky negotiating. Even after successfully negotiating a deal, it requires some detailed work by qualified attorneys in order to protect the interests of all parties involved.

While you shouldn’t rule out owner financing, keep in mind that by looking for someone who is willing to help finance your purchase, you severely limit your choices. There are a lot of houses for sale today, but not a lot where owner financing is an option.

Option 4: Lease-to-Own
With a lease-to-own, you essentially lease a home, but make larger payments in order to begin accumulating a down payment.

For example, if a house would normally lease for $800, you might lease it for $1,000/month, with $200/month going into a special account. At the end of a specified period, you buy the home using the money in that special account as your down payment. However, if you decide somewhere along the line not to purchase the home, all of the money in the special account then goes to the seller.

Think of this option as renting with a forced savings account. If you can find someone willing to do this, it’s not a bad option. However, most people who are selling their homes need their money out of it in order to buy their next home, so finding someone who is willing to lease to you may prove more difficult.

Where to Begin
Now that you have four good options for buying a home for little or no money down, where is the best place to begin?

Get pre-qualified.

We’ll Do More Than Help You Get Financed!
We're dedicated to helping you through the entire process, delivering world-class service all along the way. We can help you find the right home, negotiate the right terms, and then make sure that you actually get to the closing table.

Simple Ideas for Raising Money for a Down Payment
1. Have a garage sale. You’ll be surprised how much money you can raise this way, especially if you’re willing to give up the junk you’ve been hoarding for years!

2. Raid your savings. Even if you’ve been trying to keep a little stashed away, this is important. If your kids have a savings account, ask them if you could borrow from theirs as well!

3. Borrow from your retirement fund. Many retirement funds (401k, IRA, etc.) have provisions for you to borrow from them for important reasons. This counts as an important reason! Check with your plan administrator or your financial advisor about this option. The nice part about this is that as you repay your loan, you pay the interest to yourself.

4. Ask your family. This is probably the hardest thing for some to do, but you might be surprised at how willing a family member would be to help you buy a house, even if they’ve said “no” to you before when you tried to borrow for other things. If you do this, you’ll need a form for your banker stating that this is a gift and not a loan. (Yes, you can still repay your family member. It just can’t be a formal loan.)

5. Sell something. If you look around your house, you might find items that have value, but that you haven’t used in a long time: An old coin collection, an old musical instrument that no one plays anymore, an extra freezer you don’t really need, a second (or third) car you could do without. Often, the cash from selling these items can add up quickly.

6. Win the lottery. Somebody’s going to win – it might as well be you!

This free report was provided to you by the Surf City Kahunas of Real Estate:

The Louison Team
Real Estate Consultants and Realtors
Raymond and Stephanie Louison
714-925-5361 or 714-307-2934

Altera Real Estate
Service Areas: Huntington Beach and all areas of Orange County and Long Beach.
All information deemed reliable, however not guaranteed!

Orange County Real Estate Market Update

Orange County prices have continued to go down slightly this month due to an increase in the total number of foreclosures, short-sales, and mandatory corporate employee relocations. According to the National Association of Realtors, this trend is expected to continue for another six to twelve months.

Unless you absolutely must, now is not the best time to sell a home. The real estate market cycles sometimes like a roller coaster, with ups and downs. Over the long term, residential real estate prices have always has ended up much higher. If you wait long enough prices will again rise up to another all time high. The best bet is to always think long term whenever investing in residential real estate.

Now is a wonderful time for buying a home.
Current economic conditions have created a very strong buyer’s market, where negotiating price reductions, closing cost, repairs and other items are possible. Once prices begin to rise again, many potential negotiable items will be taken off the table. Waiting for the market to reach bottom, could cost you big bucks!

This Report Posted By:

The Louison Team,

Raymond & Stephanie Louison, Real Estate Consultants

REMAX Real Estate Services,

Each office independently owned & operated

Raymond: 714-925-5361 or Stephanie: 714-307-2934

Toll-Free: 800-546-4821, ext. 2444

All information deemed reliable, however not guaranteed!