Monday, November 22, 2010

San Luis Obispo - Investor Tip: Making it easier to buy a home!

How can home buying be easier in San Luis Obispo
In my last blog post I touched on the HomeStyle® Renovation Mortgage. A program available for home buyers or investors who need to make renovations to a home.

A HomeStyle Renovation Mortgage is available to buy or refinance a home (with up to four units) that you will live in as your primary residence.

 Instead of financing the renovation with a second mortgage or home equity loan, you get the lower interest rates of a first mortgage and only have to pay for one mortgage closing. And with a HomeStyle Renovation Mortgage, you can borrow an amount based on the value of the home after the renovations are finished, so you know you will have the funds available to do the job right. For borrowers considering major home improvements, this option provides an effective and affordable way to leverage the future value of a home with a single-close first mortgage.

If you are an investor who is considering purchasing a property that is currently owned by Fannie Mae that is in need of a little work – the Fannie Mae Home Style renovation mortgage (a close cousin to the Fannie Mae HomePath renovation mortgage) is the loan program designed for you.
At closing, all funds for renovation will be escrowed in an interest-bearing account. After all renovation work is complete, any remaining funds in the escrow account will be used to pay down the principal balance of the mortgage.

If this is of interest to you, I can help with finding a Fannie Mae lender partner in your area and find Home Path Properties in the San Luis Obispo County Area. I have the tools and resources to get you a home today. Let me be your Realtor of choice.

I am also available via email for any questions you may have about this or any other program. I look forward to helping you make smart choices.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

San Luis Obispo - Home Buyer Tip: Making it easier to buy a home!

How can home buying be easier in San Luis Obispo
Well Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; the two largest purchasers of home loans, set the standards under which they will purchase loans from banks and mortgage companies. They have set up a program to reduce their growing inventory of nearly 1,500 Foreclosed homes called HomePath®

So what's in it for buyers? The benefits include:
  • Reduced Home Prices
  • Low down payment and flexible mortgage terms (fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, or interest-only)
  • You may qualify even if your credit is less than perfect
  • Available to both owner occupiers and investors*
  • Down payment (at least 3 percent) can be funded by your own savings; a gift; a grant; or a loan from a nonprofit organization, state or local government, or employer
  • No mortgage insurance (Typically if you don't put down 20%, you would need it.)
  • No appraisal fees
  • Also eligible for HomePath® Renovation Mortgage*
  • HomePath® Mortgage financing is available from a variety of lenders - both local and national.

*If you're an investor interested in renovating a property in San Luis County, you may qualify for financing under our HomeStyle® Renovation Mortgage product. See my next Blog Post explaining this option.

Currently there are 3 homes available under this program in the city of San Luis Obispo. There are many more in other neighboring cities. Email me today to get a list of homes that qualify in your area. Take advantage of a government program that helps you purchase at bargain prices and extremely low interest rates.

This is just another way to learn and be smart about Real Estate with me at your side. For any of your home buying needs look to a Realtor that Knows Homes in SLO County.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

San Luis Obsipo Home Energy Rating System (HERS), New for Buyers!

In San Luis Obsipo we have homes that are Green and made from Sustainable building materials.
The California Energy Commission has released the New Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Booklet. As an ecoBroker®, I am familiar with these homes and they typically have lower energy costs and utility bills, depending on what energy efficiency methods were used on the home.

As a new home owner looking to buy, what information on energy usage can you get for a home you're interested in purchasing? We'll there are new options open to you. The California Energy Commission has released the New Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Booklet.

Why is this GREAT?
1. Well you now have options to add energy efficient improvements at the time of sale. Improvements are completed through escrow and you move in with the new Energy Efficient features already in place.

2. There are options for financing energy efficient improvements and it explains where to find tax credits and rebate information. As your EcoBroker I can also help you with this as an option.

3. You can request utility bills from the existing owner to learn more about what to expect from your future home utility costs, make improvements and make the home more efficient before you move in.

This HERS Booklet is not a mandatory part of escrow or disclosures by an Realtor, but it will be a part of the mandatory Combined Hazards Booklet. As your ecoBroker I have the inside scoop on how to effectively gain more knowledge and put more money back into the buyers pocket through monthly utility savings.

If you are interested in moving or purchasing a home in our glorious City of San Luis Obispo, click here to see available homes. Or email me with any questions you have.

Click here to get a customized Free Home Search, just for you.
To view my other listings Click here.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for listings on the Central Coast.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

San Luis Obispo - Top Four Happiest Place in the World to live!

I love living in San Luis Obispo. It has been my home for over 13 years and I woudln't trade my city in for anything.

According to Dan Buettner who wrote the book Thrive, by measuring and experiencing happiness day to day he found he could define happiness and pin point locations that had the most overall happiness qualities. He traveled all over the world to find the best places to live in the world and San Luis Obispo made the top four. We were the only US city to make the list. Happiest place in Europe was Denmark, Asia - Singapore and Nuevo Leon - Mexico.

ABC news has a short clip on the interview with Dan and the top four cities that made the happiness list.

If you are interested in moving or purchasing a home in our glorious City of San Luis Obispo, click here to see available homes. Or email me with any questions you have, I'm a great tour guide.

Click here to get a customized Free Home Search, just for you.
To view my other listings Click here.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for listings on the Central Coast.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The "First Time Home Buyer" definition, may suprize you!

A First Time Home Buyer is not what it seems to define. You would assume the phrase is what it is. But in fact, according to the IRS, anyone who hasn't purchased a home in the past two years would now qualify under the term, "First Time Home Buyer".

Definition: According to the IRS, you qualify as a first-time home buyer:
"if you had no present interest in a main home during the 2-year period ending on the date of acquisition of the home which the distribution is being used to buy, build, or rebuild. If you are married, your spouse must also meet this no-ownership requirement."

Why is this a big deal? Because the government gives first time home buyers deals and breaks that allow for them to buy a home easier than someone who has purchased a home in two years. One of FHA's (Federal Housing Administration) highest priorities is to assist home-buyers with the purchase of their first home. Government programs like HUD/ FHA, are built to accommodate the new buyer with better affordability and qualify for a home. It's a stimulus of sorts to encourage people who would like to buy but think they need 20% down to qualify. Many of these programs only require 3-5% as a down payment to qualify with average to good credit scores.

So now all of you out there that haven't purchased a home in the past two years, you are sitting on a great opportunity to purchase a home at the bottom of the market with record low interest rates.

Click here to get a customized Free Home Search, just for you. 

Give me a call today or email me. I'd love to find your first home!

First Time Home Buyers Tips_San Luis Obispo

As a first time home buyer don't let information overload get the best of you! Today I want to share some tips to keep you focused and motivated to find your first home in San Luis Obispo with ease.


Defining your search Parameters as a First Time Home Buyer

Begin on the Internet. Learn about the neighborhoods you like and can see yourself living in. With just a few clicks of the mouse, you can search through hundreds of neighborhoods and homes, view virtual tours, sort through dozens of photographs and aerial shots. Once you've found the location in San Luis Obispo County, call me to get a list of homes in the area you like. I can send you a detailed list of Condos/ Homes/ Townhomes/ Land, to begin your search for your first home. Click here to get a customized Free Home Search, just for you.


How Long Should It Take to Buy Your First Home? 

A motivated first time home buyer will find a home within two weeks. I'll listen to your wants, needs and arrange to show only those homes that fit your particular parameters. I'll also preview the homes before showing them to you. My job is to not waste your time looking at every home out there, just the homes that fit your needs. 


Rate the homes you've seen:
  • Bring a digital camera and begin each series of photos with a close-up of the house number to identify each home and take photos of the interior an exterior of the parts you want to remember.
  • Take detailed notes of unusual features, colors and design elements. (Ask me for your own "Home Search Sheet" to keep track and stay organized.)
  • Pay attention to the neighborhood surroundings. What's next door? Do 2-story homes tower over your single story?
  • Do you like the location? Is it near a park or a power plant?
  • Immediately after leaving, rate each home on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best.


Take a Second look at your top choices:

Once you have toured homes for a couple of weeks, revisit your top three. You will instinctively know which homes are perfect for you. Request to go back to the home and see it with a new set of eyes, you will always see new items you didn't see the first go-around. Be discriminating and rate the home again from 1-10 with 10 being the best. Ask yourself, "Is this the home for me? Does it meet all my needs?


Making a home selection:

In the end you make the home selection on your own. As your Realtor I will guide you through the pros and cons of the homes you've seen and liked, but I will not steer you into picking a certain home. I want you to pick with out any interference from me. My job is to make sure you feel confident about the home choice you have made and the home meets your needs.

So this is what you can expect from your home buying experience with me. It doesn't need to be overwhelming or difficult. The plan above will help you through the easiest home buying experience possible. I'm here to help you through it!  Click here to get a customized Free Home Search, just for you. Or sign up on my website to get my new Book; Real Estate Made Simple, Primarily for the First Time Home Buyer, By Traci Ferguson. It will be out at the end of Feb 2011.

Give me a call today or email me. I'd love to find your first home!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

San Luis Obsipo Condos for First Time Home Owners

Condos in San Luis Obispo are always for sale, but according to local Real Estate Sales the condo market is at it's hottest between the months of January till the end of May. In fact, roughly 90% of all condos go into escrow during this time frame.

So if your thinking of buying a condo in the near future know that your largest inventory and best time to buy is just around the corner. Interest rates are still low and first time home buyer programs make Condos a great investment for the future with very little down. FHA programs only need 3% down making it very affordable either as a personal residence or as an investment property.

I bought a three bedroom Condo while I was going to Cal Poly SLO in 1998, I rented the other 2 rooms out and my mortgage was almost paid for from the rent of my two housemates. Today the home is an income property and still has Cal Poly renters, it pays for itself and then some.

If you're a first time home buyer and have questions about how much down payment you would need for a Condo or Home, I'm here to be your resource. Condos are not complicated or tricky. They give you the flexibility of being a home owner with less maintenance to worry about like yard work, maintaining the exterior paint and roof; typically paid with your home owners fees.

Let's talk about if it is the right fit for you;
Give me a call or email me today to learn more!

Click here for San Luis Obispo Condos currently on the market
If you're looking for a condo in San Luis Obispo County email or call me today!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

San Luis Obispo-Custom Contemporary Green Home

Custom contemporary green home in San Luis Obispo, newly remodeled and is a must see!

From the exterior to the interior the theme is sustainable living for the modern lifestyle.
This San Luis Obispo home has an open floor plan with over 2,000 sq.ft., 3 bedrooms and 2 amazing bathrooms. The elevated views of the East San Luis Mountains are framed in large floor to ceiling dual pane low-E windows. These large windows bring in tons of amazing natural light, lowering your energy use during the day. The finishes of the home are sustainable and green. From the solid bamboo flooring, steel cable railings, low-VOC paint on the walls and Brazilian Ipe wood on the decking. The Brazilian Ipe was also used as an exterior finish at the front of the home, creating a warm wood horizontal texture for incredible curb appeal.

Energy efficiency is also part of the sustainable theme to this home. Brand new heating and plumbing systems with a hot water booster heater, saves on daily water and energy use. The completely remodeled bathrooms have low-flow plumbing fixtures, recycled glass shower tiles and slate flooring. The contemporary kitchen amenities include ENERGY STAR®  kitchen appliances, concrete counter tops with plenty of storage and pantry space.

The native landscaping, surrounding the 6,969 sq.ft. lot, is drought tolerant and filled with mature plantings. The backyard has an additional Ipe deck that opens up to a lush play area or gathering space. Perfect for back yard BBQ's or catching some sun.

The neighborhood amenities are too numerous to list. You are within walking and biking distance to major transportation, farmers markets, dining and the heart of Central Coast living; Downtown San Luis Obsipo.

As your Certified ecoBroker. I'm here to help you with finding the perfect SLO ecoHome of your dreams. EMAIL me TODAY for homes in your area or more in formation on this amazing home.

Monday, November 1, 2010

San Luis Obispo Luxury Home-Central Coast

No San Luis Obsipo home is quite like this!
This Central Coast Mediterranean inspired high end custom home was designed by local San Luis Obsipo Architect Bill Isaman. It's spacious 4-bed, 3.5-bath, 4,500 sq.ft. open plan, sits on 1 Acre. It has incredible Architectural detailing and wonderful use of light & space.  The gourmet kitchen has tons of natural light & prep space, perfect for entertaining and large parties in the kitchen. There is a guest suite w/bath downstairs. Beautiful Master Suite w/ fire place has a view of the San Luis Mountains. The upstairs also has an office, 2 bedrooms and playroom. The large back patio is perfect for outdoor dining and events. Photos were taken by a San Luis local Photographer Dennis Swanson, Studio101West Photography.

This home is a Short Sale and is currently under contract. No further offers will be accepted.

To view the Details of the property Click here.
To view my other listings Click here.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for listings on the Central Coast.