Mortgage Tips for First Time Home Buyers

4 Aug 2011 Auburn California Real Estate, Placer County

Acquiring beloved Auburn CA real estate is frequently only possible through being approved for a mortgage. Does that mean that first time home buyers need to rush out and sign up with the first mortgage deal they come across? Actually, rushing into acquiring a mortgage can be an unwise choice.

Here is why…

Not very many people have the ability to purchase a home with cash. Even those that are very wealthy would avoid such an approach for various reasons. The vast majority of home owners will opt to acquire a mortgage to purchase their home. And this is a relatively simple process is it not? All a homebuyer has to do is visit a local lending institution and fill out paperwork for the loan. Again, all of this is rather simple, right?

It may seem this way to the average first time home buyer but such an approach is rarely the case. There can be a lot of complexities associated with acquiring a home mortgage. The recent history of the subprime loan crisis is certainly indicative of the serious calamities that can arise with a bad mortgage. Then again, even mortgages with good terms can prove problematic if the mortgage and the borrower are not appropriately matched.

A mortgage needs to be the gateway to acquiring a dream home and a reliable piece of equity. To avoid the acquisition of the home from turning into a problem scenario, here are a few things that need to be kept in mind when weighing your options to acquire Placer County real estate:

Perform proper and adequate research into which lenders in your area are offering the lowest APRs on the mortgages. Why pay a higher interest rate than you need to? Those that lack experience with home buying might sign onto a loan with a much higher rate than they need to pay. Overpaying on an interest rate makes it a lot more difficult to pay down the principle. It also diverts money away from savings and investments. In short, you never want to overpay on a mortgage APR and effective research will help ensure this is not the case.

Determine whether or not you are best served with a fixed rate or variable mortgage. A fixed rate mortgage would be a loan where the interest rate stays the same through the life of the loan. A variable rate will change over the course of the loan’s terms. Many will opt for a variable rate loan with the hope that it will deliver great savings in the end. Problems arise when the opposite happens and they must pay higher monthly premiums. As such, first time home buyers seriously must weigh the appropriateness of acquiring a variable rate loan.

Acquiring the right life term of the loan is necessary since this will impact your ability to pay. Mortgages can be acquired at 15 year, 20 year, 30 year, and other durations. Is a shorter term better than a longer one or vice versa? It would be best not to look at one being monolithically better than the other. Rather, first time buyers need to look at the positives and negatives of such terms. A shorter term is quicker to pay off but the interest rate is higher. A longer term will have a lower interest rate and a much longer duration to pay off. When looking at Auburn CA homes for sale, weighing whether or not to go with a long term vs. a short one is advised since you do want to be happy with the payment structure you will be required to meet.

Balloon mortgages can be difficult for some to deal with. There are many different variants of a balloon mortgage and they mainly deal with a series of smaller monthly payments for several years and then a final payoff of the mortgage balance at a specified end of the term. Is this an inherently bad concept? No, it is not but the borrower truly needs to be sure he/she can handle such a mortgage term.

Take note of the monthly mortgage premiums you will have to pay. An Auburn CA real estate agent will certainly point out that most people suffering from foreclosure contend with such a problem due to high mortgage premiums. Don’t find yourself falling into the same trap. Never accept a mortgage where the monthly premiums are too high.

Most that look over Auburn homes for sale will also need to examine the mortgages that are available to purchase such a home. Not all mortgages are the same which is why it is so necessary to look towards acquiring the best mortgage for your needs.

A Look at How California Homes Are Going Greener

3 Aug 2011 Uncategorized

California Homes are going greener. Green technologies allow homeowners to save money and protect the environment. Green homes are functional, designed with highly efficient water and energy saving features. Environmentally friendly homes are cheaper to build and they last longer. With all of these benefits in mind, one must ask the question: what makes a home a Green Home?

Firstly, in terms of their construction, Green Homes are built for the future. California Green homes are setting the standard, leading the way with energy efficient building and construction materials. Eco-friendly, “earth-smart” materials are manufactured to protect the interior and exterior of buildings and homes from the toxicities found in petroleum-based enamel compounds. There are building materials that receive a “Green Approved Seal” and “Building Certification” by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The NAHB provides a number of incentives for builders to use allergy-safe, eco-friendly materials. Toxic chemicals are found in old fashioned lead-based paints.

“Smart Paint”

Air pollution is not only found outside, it is also found inside of homes that are covered with glycol-filled, carbon-based paints. Fibrous particles, known as “volatile organic compounds” (VOCs), evaporate into the air and find their way into peoples’ respiratory systems. Due to regulatory standards, many manufacturers are now developing products free of VOCs and other harmful chemicals. One such product is “Smart Paint”. Smart Paint is organically manufactured to protect homes and people from the toxicities found in enamel compounds. It comes in a wide variety of colors, and organic designer shades which are created with natural plant oils and dies. Earth-based minerals are used to develop these high quality compounds, minus previously-used harmful chemicals such as lead.

Environment; To Breathe or Not to Breathe

The homes we live in, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the soils we cultivate, and the animals we eat are at risk from contaminants. Deadly pollutants such as Sulfur, Nitrogen and Carbon dioxides, Sulfates and Hydrogen Sulfides have adverse affects on our lungs and on the environment.

Why is there reason for concern? Because our most precious “commodities,” our children and the elderly, are at the greatest risk. With contaminated building materials such as lead-based compounds, peoples’ quality of life suffers, especially those who are already vulnerable. Agriculture, plants, animals, fish and foul are continually harmed by air pollutants. Chemical paint compounds weaken the immune system, while other chemicals can evaporate into the air, causing bronchial diseases. As the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has found, “In many cases, children may have greater exposure than adults to airborne pollutants. Infants and children generally breathe more rapidly than adults, which increase their exposure to any pollutants in the air.” Air pollution is a true silent killer, and reducing it is everyone’s responsibility.

Environmentally Friendly Homes – “For Sale” Now

Constructed to protect and serve their occupants, environmentally friendly homes integrate versatility, elegance, and superior functionality to create efficient, sustainable living spaces. These homes guarantee comfort and savings as well as peace of mind. With the increased demand for eco-friendly homes, the real estate industry is sure to see a boom in green homes.

Conservative homebuyers are also finding reasonably priced homes for sale in eco-friendly, developing communities. Environmentally friendly homes built with natural building materials such as ecologically manufactured safe-dyes are appealing to the savvy, conservative homebuyer, as meeting conservation standards actually saves money! As CNNMoney.com has said, “Given the astronomical rise in fuel prices in the past few years, it’s no surprise that energy efficiency is the top reason consumers choose green building materials. Traditionally constructed homes, while far more energy-efficient than those built in past decades, can still squander a mind-boggling amount of fossil fuel.”

Placer County – Innovation Leads the Way

Innovation and efficiency lead the way. Placer County California’s Community Development Resource Agency provides a number of going green incentives to help build new homes and renovate older homes to meet upgraded energy standards. Uniquely among local communities, Placer County actively reaches out to the public, which is part of the reason why it is known as such a friendly, active community.

Green living is an investment for both your body and for the environment, so to become environmentally-friendly is an intelligent choice for anybody. Homes that use eco-friendly building materials and technology are homes that will help build the pollution-free tomorrow that we all want to see.

Placer County Real Estate Statistics for December 2010

11 Mar 2011 Placer County Statistics

Here is the latest of my YouTube “State of the Placer County Real Estate” addresses. These are a good way to stay updated on what happened in the market here in Placer county, so if you like, subscribe to my YouTube Channel and you’ll be informed as soon as I upload the thing.

Placer County Real Estate Sales Update 11/29 – 12/5 2010

16 Jan 2011 Placer County

 
Here’s an update from yours truly covering the real estate sales in Placer County for 11/29 up until 12/15 2010. It had been a while since I’ve done a sales report so I’m happy to have had the time to get it on film. Despite all the bad news about the economy here in California, I’m seeing a steady market here and have been happily busy. If you’re in the market for a home in NorCal, then you know who to call. For now, you can check out the latest articles from me found around the web.

- Placer County Real Estate Forecast For 2011 via Blogspot
- Five Things I’ve Learned From Living In Placer County via Blog.com
- The Best Live Music Events in Placer County via Real Town
- Live Theatre Is Alive And Well In Placer County via Flipping Pad

Five Things I’ve Learned from Living in Placer County

3 Jan 2011 Placer County

Placer County, California is situated in the Sacramento Valley and Sierra Nevada region also called Gold Country. Placer County was originally the home of the Nisenan tribe of Native Americans before gold was discovered in the area in 1848. Men from all over the world converged on the area to mine gold. Placer County is considered to be the fastest growing county in California. The population grew from 248,399 in 2000 to 338,750 in 2008. Auburn is the county seat.

placer county golf course

Gold mining remained the area’s main industry through the1880’s but many residents gave up dreams of gold to start farming, producing lumber, and working for the largest employer in the area, Southern Pacific Railroad. Placer County is the location of a historic courthouse originally built July 4, 1894. Renovations were done in the latter part of the 1980’s that preserved the building to house court rooms, the original sheriff’s office, and the Placer County Museum, one of six museums in the area.

Economic Development
Major corporations such as Ace Hardware, Agilent Technologies, Hewlett Packard, Pride Industries and NEC have moved some of their operations into Placer County. When asked why Placer County was a good choice for their businesses they gave several reasons:

• Quality of life
• Affordable housing
• Seismic stability
• Transportation system
• Recreational opportunities
• Large labor market

Things to Do
If you would like to relive the gold rush days of Placer County you have the opportunity to do so. Thousands of gold panning hobbyists come to the area to try their luck at finding gold. Placer County is named for the rich placer deposits that still exist today.

Golf enthusiasts have several beautiful and challenging golf courses to choose from. Whether you play for fun and relaxation or you are a highly competitive player you will find the kind of golf game you love with affordable golf and cart fees.

Placer County has an abundance of recreational opportunities from fishing to skiing. Cultural events, museums and art shows are available year round.

Placer County Homes for Sale
The average sale price of a home sold in Placer County in 2010 is $319,124. Placer County has inventory of 6.1 months. The median price of a home in Placer County is $299,999. The median price in the US overall is $502,183 as of November 2010. Affordable housing is one of the biggest reasons Placer County is the fastest growing county in California. A Placer County real estate agent can help you find your new home.

Roseville Homes for Sale
As of January 1, 2009 the population of Roseville was 112,343. Roseville is accessed from Interstate 80 which runs through Roseville and State Route 65 that bisects the northern part of the city. The median list price of homes $259,500 as of November 2010 with an average of 91 days on the market.

Homes for sale in El Dorado Hills
Even though El Dorado Hills is situated in El Dorado County it is included here because of its proximity to Sacramento Valley. The median family income of El Dorado Hills is $125,230 yet the median list price of homes in El Dorado Hills is only $459,000 as of November 2010. The average length of time on the market is 100 days.

Lincoln Real Estate
Lincoln was listed in Forbes.com as the fastest growing city in the US from 2000 to 2006. Lincoln was one of ten cities to receive the prestigious All-American City award from the National Civic League in 2004. Lincoln opened the first casino, Thunder Valley Casino, in Sacramento. The median list price for homes in Lincoln is $252,900 as of November 2010.

The five things I’ve learned from living in Placer County are:

1. I can live in California and not worry about earthquakes.
2. I can live in a high growth area with plenty of employment opportunities.
3. I can live in an area with many recreational things to do.
4. I can live in an area with affordable housing.
5. I can live in an area and enjoy a good quality of life.

The Three Nicest Homes Currently For Sale in Lincoln

3 Jan 2011 Lincoln CA real estate

If you ask any Lincoln real estate agent, he’ll often tell you that Lincoln features many lovely homes for sale. This is especially true nowadays because there are many Lincoln homes for sale that offer home buyers lovely views, fantastic amenities and lots of extras which make them a great value.

In addition, there are many lovely Lincoln CA homes for sale that are currently for sale that seem to have something extra special that makes them one of the nicest homes you could ever purchase. To see why this is the case, here are three of the nicest homes currently for sale in Lincoln, California that offer a lot of “extras” to discerning buyers.

beautiful lincoln homeThe home located at 3216 Vista De Madera offers buyers amazing views, an amazing design, lots of room and much more.
This huge 6,901 square foot masterpiece has five bedrooms and six bathrooms. It also has a large gourmet style kitchen, a large family room and extra large bedrooms. These amenities make the home a fantastic value for a large family who wants to settle down.

In addition, this home is one of the nicest homes currently for sale in Lincoln because its pitched roof, large cathedral-style ceilings and large bay windows create a lovely atmosphere that’s perfect for families who want to live a quiet life in a nice neighborhood. As a result, most buyers would defiantly enjoy owning this home.

The home located at 5445 Wise Road features lots of land and easy access to great amenities.

The home located at 5445 Wise Road is situated on over 10 acres of land. It features five large bedrooms and four bathrooms which are situated close to the main living area. The property also includes its own paved road, a neat workshop, a barn and ample space for a garden or a pasture.

In addition, this property has many amenities located inside the house which make the home one of the three nicest homes currently for sale on the Lincoln real estate market. For example, the home features beautiful hardwood floors, high-quality stainless steel appliances and wide counters that make cooking a joy. The home also has a large game room and a neat 3 car garage that offers owners many storage possibilities. These amenities make the property very desirable.

another beautiful lincoln ca homeMoreover, this home is one of the three nicest homes currently for sale in Lincoln because it’s very close to several great amenities. For example, residents can travel to several malls that are located about 5-10 minutes southeast of the property along I-80. Moreover, there are several very good elementary and high schools located near the home. As a result, many families would enjoy living in this home because they can quickly travel to several fine stores and schools that make living in the area more enjoyable.

Finally, the home located at 1695 Carnelian Court is one of the nicest starter homes you’ll currently find on the Lincoln real estate market.

This smaller home features roughly 2,200 square feet, 2 bathrooms and 3 bedrooms. It’s situated on a large lot located in a great neighborhood that’s quiet and tranquil. The home features beautiful hardwood floors, large custom cabinets, a fantastic living room and large bedrooms that are private. The home also features a large backyard, an ample patio area and lovely views of the surrounding Lincoln Hills Golf Club.

This home is one of the three nicest homes currently for sale in Lincoln because its prime location near several golf courses and its location in a relatively crime-free neighborhood make it a great home for a young family who is starting out. For these reasons, many younger buyers would enjoy living here.

As you can see, some of the nicest homes currently for sale in Lincoln feature easy access to good schools, golf courses, malls and other amenities. If you need help sorting through these amenities, please contact a Lincoln real estate agent today for more information. It might be just the thing to help you find a great home at a great price in Lincoln!

Auburn Open Houses and What You Need to Know Before You Go

30 Dec 2010 Auburn California Real Estate

When a home buyer is looking to find a house to buy northern California or Auburn CA real estate, then the person will want to consider going to area open houses. Open houses are useful as they make a home viewing available to a person over an extended amount of time, such as a day or half a day. Appointments are not required for these helpful showcases. It is good to understand a variety of things regarding appropriate open house etiquette before the individual goes over to the open house.

tree lined streets of homes for sale

Before the open house is entered
A person, couple, or family that arrives at an open house should always knock first. Just because the house is an open house does not mean that the door is standing open and one can simply barge right inside. It is always polite to first ring the door bell or even to knock in advance of simply entering. There is an exception to this, of course. If the door is already open and people are exiting and entering ahead of the individual, then it is most likely alright to simply enter the open house.

The persons should also either wipe their shoes or even take them off if they are dirty. The majority of open houses are occupied by either tenants or homeowners who would appreciate the visitors having an attention to their continuing cleanliness. Some open houses even require that the visitors take off their shoes. This might result from a cultural expectation of the current occupant or simply because they do not want dust and dirt being tracked inside of their home, in particular if it is snowing or raining outside. A visitor to the open house should pay attention to any signs that give instructions for removing shoes.

Introductions are appropriate
It is always a proper idea to introduce oneself upon entering an open house, regardless of whether the greeter is a tenant, landlord, or real estate agent. Asking if it is alright to look around the house is also appropriate. Though there is no rule that states formal introductions are required, good manners dictate such. In new homes or ones where many people are looking around, a real estate agent will commonly announce that everyone is free to walk around and see the house. Some open houses insist on visitors first registering themselves or signing in at a reception desk.

Avoiding criticisms
Naturally, most houses will have elements to them that a person or family is not overly fond of, regardless of whether this is poor taste in design, an unfortunate choice of wall color, or even damages that have not been properly repaired. It is not appropriate to criticize these loudly at the open house, in particular if the current occupants are present. When an individual decides to seriously contemplate purchasing the house, and sees some things that should be taken care of, this task should be done as an actual offer is being made. Alternatively, it could be done in advance of signing contracts. Never compare the open house to other homes that are for sale in an area.

Personal items should not be touched
Many open houses are populated by the residents who still live in the home. Those belongings on display probably belong to them. There are visitors who lack the manners to realize that lying down on another person’s bed is inappropriate. A person is there to look at the open house, and not to play around with or touch other people’s personal things. Children that come along should especially be reminded of this.

Be courteous with the other guests
A person should never argue with or be aggressively competitive at an open house with any other guest, in particular if they are making an offer. Cases have surfaced where two or more guests who were at an open house began to fight because the house was so desirable. More appropriate is to simply tell the host that the guest plans to make a competitive offer on the house and to learn where and when that this can be accomplished.

Proper manners regarding food and drink
Neither food nor drink should ever be brought to an open house. Instead, a person ought to eat and drink outside of the house, or alternatively in the car, in advance of entering the open house. Some open houses actually serve visitors drinks and snacks, in particular when they are scheduled at lunch or dinner time. When this is the case, guests should eat and drink either in the dining room or the kitchen rather than parading around the house with food and drink in tow. Other Realtors choose to feed their guests at the end of a visit to the open house. In this way, they are able to talk with the potential purchaser of the home just before they leave.

Roseville Real Estate Statistics for April – June 2010

3 Dec 2010 Auburn California Real Estate

This is a video synopsis of the statistics I compiled recently for real estate sales in Roseville, CA between April and June 2010

Go For a Hike in El Dorado Hills

3 Dec 2010 El Dorado Hills

If you are one of the 18,000 happy residents of El Dorado Hills, you probably have an idea of much of what this thriving community has to offer. However, no matter how much time you have spent in the community, there is a good chance you haven’t experienced all its natural wonders. This isn’t surprising; while the community of El Dorado Hills is highly regarded by its residents, people today lead busy lives, and unless you make the effort to do otherwise, it is easy to miss all the sights and sounds of the great outdoors while caught up in the rush and tumble of daily living, no matter where you are. However, it is important to take the time to slow down or even stop and smell the roses, and there are few better ways of doing so than going for a hike or two in the great outdoors. This article will describe some of the locations in which you can go for a hike the next time you find yourself looking for something to do in El Dorado Hills.

lincoln ca real estate

If you are at all interested in finding places to hike and sniff the wilderness in El Dorado Hills, the place to start is with the community services district in El Dorado Hills. The district is responsible for a good 50 acres of wild park regions that they have carefully developed and maintained. In addition, they also maintain about 96 more acres of open space and undeveloped areas around the El Dorado Hills region. They aptly describe the surrounding region as nature’s hidden treasures, which rings true when you consider the number of residents of El Dorado Hills who have never set foot in any of these parks or open spaces.

However, you can set yourself apart from the people who have never experienced these natural wonders by taking the time to make a trip out there today. You can immediately begin to build experiences and memories by taking a walk down the New York Creek Nature Trail. This is one of the premier hiking trails for walks and hikes in El Dorado Hills. It is just over 2.5 miles long and winds all the way from the community park close to Harvard Way to another park, Art Weisberg Park, which is located at Francisco drive. The entire hiking trail is part of the New York Creek Nature Area, which is slightly more than 28 acres in size. In other words, there is plenty of land to get lost in, which is just what many people are looking for when they visit such areas.

The trail itself is not only an opportunity to get away from everything, it also serves as a teachable location for a number of local schools as well as residents, who can take in the local wildlife and the natural botany of the region. The trail, as mentioned earlier, is maintained carefully by the community services district all through the year, and when you visit, you can view a variety of flora and fauna, including foxes, beavers, oak trees, and all kinds of fish in the New York Creek. No matter whether you are looking to get your work out on, looking to get away, or simply looking to spend some time outdoors, you can do so here.

Now that you have some idea of the wide variety of trails and paths on which you can go hiking while in El Dorado Hills, you might find yourself looking at some of the El Dorado Hills homes for sale and considering purchasing some El Dorado Hills real estate for yourself. This is a good idea; there is a lot of great property in the region, and it is projected to become only more popular as more people flee the hustle and bustle of big city life for a quieter, calmer pace in small communities such as El Dorado Hills.

However, before signing yourself to any 30 year mortgages, it may be worth considering the counsel of a qualified El Dorado Hills real estate agent. Although it is possible to buy real estate on your own without getting ripped off, your chances of finding a good deal and sealing it successfully increase dramatically when you have someone who knows what he or she is doing on your side, and you can get such competence from a trained real estate agent with familiarity of the El Dorado Hills area.

What the Recession Should Have Taught Lenders and Spenders

15 Oct 2010 Rocklin California Real Estate

Those seeking to purchase a new home probably are doing so through the lens of history. Specifically, the person that is weighing options to purchase Rocklin real estate may be doing so with a great deal of new insight thanks to the recent catastrophic recession the United States is experiencing. Of course, those seeking a mortgage do not exist in a vacuum. You cannot have a borrower without a lender. And yes, the lender also needs to look at home purchasing through the prism of the recession as well.

Why should they both do this? A great deal of insight can be acquired when you examine things through the perspective of historical experience. With the recession, borrowers, lenders, and spenders have all learned a great many lessons. For the lender, the lesson has been to lend money only to those that are considered “A level” prospects. Many of these lenders also discovered that being “creative” with lending terms does not always lead to the wisest long term business decisions. For the borrower and the spender, the lessons have proven to be a lot more complex. In some cases, they lessons have also proven to be a bit more painful than initially expected. Thankfully, the lessons learned will decrease the odds that many of the same mistakes of the past will not be repeated. That certainly is a good thing because such mistakes are not exactly worth repeating.

Probably the greatest lesson people have learned in the aftermath of the recession is that no good economic run will last forever. That does not mean that a major recession will be automatically forthcoming. However, the potential for such a situation to occur is possible and that means you must always be prepared for it.

One of the best ways to be prepared would be to save some money for the proverbial rainy day. Those that have recently purchased Placer County real estate will point out that paying monthly mortgage premiums must always be a priority. Living paycheck to paycheck or suffering through limited liquidity can make it a little difficult to meet such obligations. A variant on this would be spending all the money one makes during the good time because there is the assumption that the good times will never end. The recession has taught us all that this is not the wisest course of action to follow. One always needs to save money to deal with mortgage payments when thing become tight.

Similarly, the recession also has raised people’s awareness over the notion of a bubble. What is a bubble? Basically, this is the instance where the price of something is artificially inflated. Within a short period of time, the bubble will burst and the true value will be revealed. With the real estate bubble, many homes in certain regions saw huge increases in real estate values and then quick collapses. This was most evident in the state of Florida where the bubble collapses tremendously. Thankfully, a brief discussion with a Rocklin real estate agent will reveal the fact that this area of California did not suffer from such an outrageous bubble. However, there is a lesson that has been learned. Namely, bubbles do exist and you need to be well aware of them. This way, you do not become of the mindset that real estate investing and flipping would always be a sure thing. Really, a sure thing is an impossibility in real estate or any other investment sector for that matter.

For many, the recession has showed us that once you get into debt, it can be fairly difficult to get out of the situation. Being overwhelmed with debt is never a good thing because there are scores of ripple effects you would have to contend with. One of the most difficult ripple effects would be dealing with the damage debt does to a credit rating. With a poor credit score, being approved for a mortgage can prove difficult. No one wants to be in the positions of seeing excellent Rocklin homes for sale and not being able to be approved for a mortgage. Missing out on an excellent home purchase opportunity would not be an enjoyable experience to go through. Yet, this is exactly what many will have to contend with.

It is no secret that the recession brought with it an incredible amount of pain. Through this pain, some valuable lessons have been learned. Hopefully, this will help reduce the impact of the next recession when it eventually rears its ugly head.