Friday, December 19, 2014

Yesterday was a very rewarding day ...

I had the pleasure of accompanying 11 of my associates from the office out to Oasis School in Thermal. For the past 6-7 years we have been supporting 3 of the 4 Fourth Grade classes plus the Special Ed Class at various times of the year. At the start of the year, we augment their learning capabilities by providing much needed school supplies to get them off on the right start. At summer, we provide books for summer reading and other items for health and fun; however, at Christmas, our direction changes and we like to surprise them with little things to brighten their day plus a new soccer ball for each student. That was our goal today and while we accomplished it, we all came away with so much more given to us than we gave. There is no substitute for true feelings and the spirit of giving. While we brought them gifts ... we came away with such a sense of Christmas spirit that we all spoke of for the remainder of the afternoon. The wonderful welcome they give their "Fairy GodMothers and GodFathers" as they call us is enough to get your spirit going; then the thoughtful looks as a Christmas story is being told; followed by pure joy in their eyes as the little gift bags are distributed; and then the broad grins as the soccer balls are passed out ... Truly the wonder of Christmas before our eyes ... and all of this before the cookies and juice boxes are distributed ( a true wonder in today's age)... Some re-wrapped toys in the tissue paper to give to family, some spoke of taking the cookies home to share and one boy asked us to not only put his name on his soccer ball but to add his brother's name ... All of this is true confirmation for me that Christmas is alive and well here in America and worldwide ... Santa Lives :)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Mortgage Insurance Premiums deductible on 2014 Taxes

Fantastic news for borrowers with Mortgage Insurance as a requirement for loan approval when they bought their homes ... Read it here and should you have any questions or comments, I am available by response here, email, text or phone: Roger A. Sullivan 760-610-3245 Read the news here:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Short Sale Update

We have been holding our breath for so long wondering what would be happening here in California ... If you have any questions after you read the news here ... Call me. text me, or email me ... I am here to help ... Well - Here it is HOT OFF THE PRESS ... Roger A. Sullivan 760-610-3245

Friday, December 5, 2014

Interest rates in 2015 and 2016

Has the Grinch struck or is it just the end of a good thing ... Interest rates have been so attractive and truly fed the system on the long crawl out of the financial cellar. Check the comments from Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Remember, the one with the most information usually wins so put this in your arsenal and be as prepared as possible ...

Monday, November 3, 2014

Let's be careful out there ...

It has come to my attention that auto burglaries and break-ins are on the rise. This doesn't coincide with schools being back in session however it does make sense that certain nefarious characters need shopping money for the holidays, drugs, alcohol, etc. At least one of the unfortunate auto owners had kept their mailbox key in the car for convenience and that was taken as well. Outside of the extra effort required with the Post Office, plus the expense, it's highly possible that some mail might have been removed from their box. This unfortunate situation is a great reminder for all of us to keep and eye on our property AND our neighbor's property. If you see someone acting suspiciously, you can: a) call your neighbor; b) hit the alarm button on your car if parked outside to get some attention; c) *carefully* walk out front and let them see you noticing them; d) taking down any license # or physical description; e) call the non-emergency number of (760) 836-3215 ext 5; and f) if it appears to be a more dire situation, of course 911 Remember that it doesn't need to appear to be a suspicious individual ... many times, these people pose as pool guys, landscapers, air conditioning repairmen and anything else that might not attract attention ... so if you don't recognize that so called vendor you've probably seen next door or across the street 100 times, it's likely to be a problem waiting to happen ... Whatever you do, be careful ... your safety is first and foremost ..."

Friday, August 22, 2014

CVWD Water Restrictions

If you haven't heard the news, here's what the District is imposing to help the severe drought situation we are facing: Water restrictions adopted by the Coachella Valley Water District 1. Irrigate lawns and other landscaping only after sunset and before 10 a.m., except when "overseeding" or doing maintenance. 2. Use CVWD drought watering guide to irrigate: 3. Repair broken sprinklers within 24 hours of being notified. 4. Do not wash down driveways, sidewalks or other hard exterior surfaces. 5. Wash vehicles and windows only if using a hose with a shutoff nozzle. 6. Prevent runoff onto a neighbor's property or sidewalks or roads. 7. Fountains or other water features must recirculate water. 8. Restaurants should serve water to customers only upon request. 9. Hotels are being asked to place messages in guest rooms promoting water conservation. More information: As always, Keep the faith !!!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Student Loan affecting First Time Buyers ...

The following is an interesting article from First Tuesday relating to the troubles of the First Time home Buyer with Student Loans and other debt affecting their qualification for a home loan to complete the American Dream ... As the average age of first-time home buyers continues to rise in California, you may be wondering two things: why; and how long will this delay persist? To address the first question, does the delay have to do with Generation Y’s (those born in the 1980s and 1990s) different views on homeownership? Or is this extended adolescence a symptom of today’s agonizingly slow jobs recovery? This dynamic actually all began several years ago, when a generation of young, blossoming students were accepted into college and optimistically signed their student loan promissory notes — and the next decade or two of their lives away. Student debt reached a new high in 2013, surpassing over a trillion dollars owed in the U.S. alone. This is three times the collective amount owed just ten years ago. Further, student debt now exceeds credit card and auto debt. The average student graduated in 2013 with around $30,000 in student loan debt to repay, with most graduates on ten-year repayment plans. Why does this matter to real estate agents? A homebuyer needs some form of down payment and an acceptable debt-to-income (DTI) ratio in order to qualify for a mortgage. Being on the hook for student debt hinders both of these requirements. Take for example an individual who currently rents, but would like to become a first-time homeowner. They have pre-established monthly debt payments of: student loan payments totaling $600; a $300 car payment; and $100 in other debt. This makes a total of $1,000 in established monthly debt. If their monthly income is $5,000 (a generous estimate for a recent graduate), their current DTI ratio is 20%. Despite their burdensome debt load, say this individual is able to save for a down payment and apply for a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan requiring a minimum 3.5% down payment. At their stated DTI, this sample first-time buyer can qualify for a monthly housing payment (including mortgage insurance premiums and homeowner’s insurance) of $1,150, if they stretch their DTI to the maximum-allowed 43%. In this situation, the potential first-time homebuyer qualifies for an FHA loan of just under $180,000. However, home prices are well beyond this amount in most of California (particularly following 2013’s speculator frenzy and ensuing home price bubble). So this renter’s options are as follows: buy a tiny condo in an undesirable location today; or wait approximately 10 years for their student loan debt to be paid off so they can purchase the home they desire near their employment. How long is this first-time homebuyer drought likely to last? Federal student loans generally take approximately ten years to pay off, though they can be deferred even longer. However, student loan debt continues to rise each year as both college tuition and the percentage of those attending college increases. Thus, the first-time homebuyer of the future will have a little more gray in their hair and a little less money in their savings accounts before they take the plunge (if they ever do at all). Agents and brokers can prepare accordingly by adjusting their FARM strategies for the long-term. Think of planting today’s seed for tomorrow’s harvest. After all, those who are renting today’s will eventually have the financial capacity to become tomorrow’s homebuyers, though that tomorrow may be further off than previously thought.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Information Homeowners may find helpful ... Please note that he price range from $300,000 - $600,000 is the hot ticket on the market at this time

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

First Time Buyer?

According to recent data, first time Buyers have lost an average of $41,000 in appreciation by not buying three years ago when prices were at a low point. If you would like to maximize your potential, give me a call, text or email and we can put you on the right path for success to ensure you don't lose out in the future ... Keep the faith !!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Household hints ...

You've stripped a screw ... Now what do you do? If you have a hacksaw, you can cut into the top of the screw to create a new groove for your screwdriver ... Eazy Peezy !!! Do you have a little one doing their best to reproduce their version of the Mona Lisa on your wall(s)? ... grab some old fashioned (non-gel) toothpaste and a scrub brush or sponge and wipe until the marks are gone (gingerly, please) ... Are you out of Drano or Liquid Plumber and can't go to the store? ... try dropping three Alka-Seltzer tablets down the sink followed by a cup of white vinegar and let it sit for approx. 15 minutes which is when you should be able to clean the drain with boiling water. (DO NOT TRY THIS IS YOU'VE ALREADY USED A COMMERICAL PRODUCT like DRANO or LIQUID PLUMBER) ... Best of luck with your chores ... and Keep the Faith !!!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

There's a new kind of thief in town cruising your Open House ...

Everyone is apprehensive about opening up their home to a bunch of strangers, particularly when they are not home. Open Houses are a great marketing tool, allowing prospective buyers to compare your home with their wants and needs; also allowing neighbors to get a peek if they might have a friend or relative they want to move closer to them. Before you have an Open House, you should secure any very personal and important items out of harms way whether they be highly valuable, sentimental or breakable and the new category - medicinal !!! There has been an increase in medications being removed from bedrooms, bathrooms and medicine cabinets of late to such a degree that the warnings have even been televised. Everything has value and we know how expensive prescriptions are ... someone who needs your medicine doesn't care of your loss only their gain ... and certainly kids may not even know what a drug is but will take it anyway ... so be extra careful and make sure your medications is safe along with all your other valuables ... Keep the faith !!!

Monday, February 3, 2014

5 Ways to Pick the Perfect Time to Sell

Smart sellers spend a whole lot of time and energy strategizing about how to sell their homes for top dollar. They factor in buyer demand, the competition, the job market, the mortgage market and their agent’s track record. And that doesn’t even account for all the time spent understand recent home sales in the area as an indicator of how local buyers will react to this listing. Many a smart seller will also try to time their listing just right, too. And most often this looks like waiting until they feel buyers are sufficiently ready, willing, and able to pay a good price for the property. One timing consideration that sometimes gets short shrift is this: the calendar. There’s a season for everything, as you might have heard. And recent Trulia data revealed some powerful geographically-specific seasonal trends in search activity for homes, adding proof to what agents have long known – the calendar portends various shifts in buyer activity, which sellers need to note. If you’re gearing up to list your home for sale, you should definitely take advantage of this interactive tool we’ve created to help you understand how these shifts play out in your area, and connect with your agent to discuss whether and how you might want to factor that into your home sale action plan. But there are also a number of calendar-based factors you should just be thoughtful about as you put your plan for selling together. Here are a handful of calendars that should be – and stay – on every home seller’s radar screen: 1. The Academic Calendar. Families with school-aged children often find it less disruptive to house hunt in the late Spring/early Summer with the aim of moving in before school starts. Of course, we all know what they say about the best laid plans, so by no means should you let this stop you from listing your home at another time of year. Just know that demand for homes with convenient proximity to strong schools can uptick during the summer school break and around other times of year when kids are not in school. 2. The Tax Calendar. I cannot count the number of relatively unmotivated, looky-loo type buyers I’ve worked with over the years who got sudden, intense motivation from a massive, looming tax bill. For instance, many new professionals will seek to close escrow on homes between the time they graduate and the end of that same year, in an effort to deduct their closing costs and mortgage interest from their newly large incomes and avoid a big tax bill the following April. Similarly, just after tax time in April, a flood of newly motivated buyers come into the market, advised by their CPAs that the mortgage interest deduction is their best bet for not having to write as big a check to the IRS next year. Fortunately for sellers, more buyers and more motivation means more demand and – all other things being equal – can translate into a faster sale at a higher price than at other times of the year. 3. The Weather Calendar. Many sellers who live in cold-weather climates are aware that wintry weather conditions can dramatically cut down on the numbers of buyers who are out viewing properties. This is why buyer searches for homes on Trulia peak earliest, in January, in warm-weather states like Hawaii and Florida – and not until after the Spring thaws in the Midwest, the South, the northeast and most of the West and here in the Desert searches peak in January with the start of the season running from January through April. But what’s not as obvious is that the combination of what’s happening on the weather calendar and the specific features of your home can interact to impact your home’s prospects for sale – and its ultimate sale price. Behavioral economics researchers have found that homes with swimming pools sell for more in the summertime than they do in the winter. “When it is sweltering outside, a swimming pool just looks attractive. There’s an emotional connection because it reminds us of fun times we have in the summer,” said Jaren Pope, one of the study’s authors and an assistant professor of economics at Brigham Young University. So, if you’re selling a home with ski slope access in the summer, you might want to paint the picture of a cozy, fun-filled winter by staging the place with ski gear and other items that help prospective buyers visualize how much fun they’ll have when winter comes. And vice versa -if you’re selling a pool house in the winter, consider making sure it is steamy and heated, if it has those features. Stage it with lounges, towels, lights – anything that showcases the pool to offset cold-weather buyer’s psychological tendency to discount the appeal of a pool in the winter. 4. The Holiday Calendar. During the holidays, many buyers simply prefer to spend their downtime celebrating with family and friends vs. house hunting, especially in locales where the winters are wet or cold. Our listing search data backs this up: nationwide, December is the slowest month of the year for home searches, and November is the second-slowest. Does this mean the holidays are a bad time to have your house on the market? Not necessarily: some homes just show beautifully when all lit up and tastefully dressed up for the holidays. And the truth is that there is a hardy contingent of buyers motivated to close by year’s end for tax purposes, every year in every market. While buyers might be fewer in number, those who will brave rain, sleet and snow and forego holiday parties to house hunt can be some of the most motivated buyers of all. 5. The Gregorian Calendar (the regular old January through December calendar, that is). A survey just released by Fidelity Investments revealed that 54% of Americans said they typically consider setting New Year’s Resolutions related to their personal finances. This year, 26 percent of respondents said they are in a better financial situation today than last year (only 19 percent said so in 2012) and 28 percent say they are less in debt (vs. 25 percent in 2012). Home buying tends to be a popular resolution among those with money on their minds at this time of year – and also among people looking forward to career promotions, developing their love and family relationships or relocating to a new home town. Make sure your home is well-represented on sites like Trulia at the beginning of the year (i.e., now!), when these life and financial change visionaries start searching the web for their next nest.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Open Houses TODAY !!!

Thinking about upgrading? How about downsizing? What about getting away from HOA dues, into the IID lower rate area or even into a better school district? I am fortunate to have three Open Houses available for viewing today - all from Noon to 3:00 pm - 48705 Classic in Legacy Villas, a fantastic opportunity for a primary residence, a vacation/second home or even an Investment; and then 41620 Alligator Road in Bermuda Dunes, a truly clean, clean, clean 3 bedroom home in a quiet area; followed by 44630 Monticello in La Quinta, a wonderful Pride of Ownership home which I will be holding open - Stop by one or all that may interest you. Hope to see you … I always look forward to exceeding your expectations in fulfilling your Real Estate needs. Regards, Roger A. Sullivan, Realtor DRE # 01236680 Certified Distressed Property Expert direct: 1(760) 610-3245 Windermere Real Estate office: 1(760) 564-9685 47250 Washington St #B efax: 1(760) 459-2038 La Quinta, CA 92253 website: Legal Disclaimer: The information transmitted may contain confidential material and is intended only for the person or entity in which it is addressed. Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of, or taking of any action by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please delete the information from your system and contact the sender.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Down payments for First Time HomeBuyers

This is difficult to answer because more information is needed i.e. your background, cash available, your thoughts about terms of ownership, etc ... etc ... because a VA loan can required -0- zero down and up, FHA loan can require 3.5% down and up, Conventional loan can require 5% and up ...... The best thing you can do for yourself as a Buyer or prospective Buyer is to get Pre-Approved (not pre-qualified but PRE-APPROVED) there is a huge difference, some agents know it and some don't but it can make a huge difference in your offer being not only reviewed but also accepted. You should immediately contact a Lender / Mortgage Banker / Mortgage Broker with a solid reputation or from a solid referral source ( I generally provide 3 different sources) and have a good conversation with this person. Obviously, you'll be providing all your financial records for the Pre-Approval however you should tell them what your plans/goals are for ownership not just that you want to buy a house so that they can advise you properly to set you on the road to achieve those goals. You should also ensure that you know the maximum loan/program you qualify for - WHY??? - If you find that dream house that has everything on your list and a few others ... you need to know if it's attainable without fooling yourself, the Seller or the Agents involved. If you do - WOW - Fantastic; and if not ... the search continues. This would apply to existing homes, which I assume you are looking at in Campbell; however, many times new home builders have incentive plans to close with them if you use their Lender including -0- down options (which can preclude the relationship you developed with the above-referenced Lender) Why is the Pre-Approval so important ??? In today's market, no sooner than you find a home that you really, really like, another 1-3 prospective buyers have seen the property and it's also on their list. If you have had the right conversation with you Lender, they can immediately issue you a new or amended letter to identify the address of the subject property and include the Approved loan amount of the offer you are making. This is not the time to make a call to the Lender, search for all your financial records, make an appointment and then try and catch up with everyone else. Hit fast and hard for success !!! Best of luck in your endeavor !!!