Here is a Quick Tip, if you are ready to try to qualify for one of the many mortgage home loans available for first time home buyers but you are looking more into buying a condo vs. a home in the Santa Maria real estate market, because condo are usually cheaper.  The thing is sometimes buying a condo can be tricky for some first time home buyers, because getting financing is not always easy.  Some first time home buyers when they start to look  to buy something they start taking a more serious look at condos since they are usually a lot cheaper than a home, so the down payment is a lot easier to come up with.  Just don’t forget that with condos you will get to pay a homeowners Association fee that can be as little as $100.00 to as much $300.00 here in the Santa Maria area which is added on top of your mortgage payment.  For some this can be a real sticking point and when you factor in the over all payment it can be as much as owning a home although due to the price difference a down payment is usually a lot easier to come up with.   The HOA payment can also be something that will either qualify you for financing or not since it will be added to your over all debt ratio.

Does Your Condo Qualify for FHA financing?


Because if it does not that means you may have to put down more money.  Usually at least 10% down payment  vs. 3.5 % down payment, for a FHA loan.  So rather than waste your time since you may not have that kind of money to put down just go to this website and find out if that condo complex is on the FHA website.    To give you an example on a 100k condo its a lot easier to put down $3,500.00 than it is $10k, and DO REMEMBER THAT THIS IS ONLY THE DOWN PAYMENT NOT THE CLOSING COSTS.   Using this example would mean $10,000.00 plus closing costs.

Here is the link to find out if your condo complex may or may not be approved just go to:


Once you are at the website – The Condominiums page allows users to search for FHA-approved condominium projects by location, name, or status.  The search can be configured to find specific types of projects through the use of the pull-down menus and entry fields.  I would suggest in the STATUS menu (last one) that you click on the pull-down menu and choose ALL.  Projects can have their FHA approval withdrawn for various reasons and you will need to know that information.

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5 Tips To Get Rid Of Clutter Around The House

Happy New Years to everyone in the Central Coast! We at Valley Hills Realty have had a great start to 2017 and we hope that you have too. This year will bring many changes to you and family around you and one of those changes may be in the comfort of your own home. One way to make your home more comfortable is to get rid of clutter. Here are 5 ways to bring down clutter around your house.


Follow these tips for easy and quick ways to de-clutter your home.

1.  Adding shelves: The addition of shelves in your home will not only create space but also give your home a different feel. Get rid of stuff that is lying around on the floor and place them on shelves to give you more floor space.

2. Garage storage: Make your garage your main storage area. Yes you can have multiple uses for the garage but if you set it as your primary storage area, you will have more space in your home.

3. Getting rid of broken items: It may be hard to get rid of some precious stuff in your house but if the item is broken or un-useable, then why keep it? They just take up space around your home so get rid of them to get your space back.

4. Placing stuff in drawers: If you have extra drawers around the house, you can use those drawers to create more space. By neatly organizing in drawers, one can get rid of clutter that is simply lying around.

5. Reorganize one room at a time: By taking it one room at a time, it will seem much less stressful when reorganizing. Take it easy and calm.

By going through these steps on a monthly basis, you will experience a home that is much more livable than before with more space and room to mingle in.

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The Differences Between a Home Appraisal and Inspection

When purchasing a home there are many things that can be overlooked. A thing that one must keep in mind when buying a house, especially for first-time home buyers, is the differences between an Appraisal and an Inspection. A Home Appraisal and a Home Inspection are reports based on the inspection of a home but they each have different requirements or elements to them. An appraisal is used to determine the market value of a home and is required by the mortgage lender. An inspection is a more detailed evaluation of the home usually requested by the home buyer and is not required by the lender.

When a home buyer needs to borrow money, known as a mortgage, the lender will require an appraisal of the home to provide a more accurate estimate of the home’s value.  Home appraisals are usually short and do not take much time. The real estate appraiser will assess the actual home as well as provide a comparison of homes that have been sold in the same neighborhood, usually within the last year.

Home inspections are more detailed and are requested by the home buyer since they are not required for the home seller to provide. A home inspector will evaluate the details of the home like the AC, plumbing, electrical, and other areas alike. Though they are not required, home inspections are strongly recommended so that the buyer has a more accurate depiction of the property that they are buying.

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Achieving The American Dream

Achieving The American Dream

The American Dream. Having a loving family, attaining a stable job, and most importantly possessing your own home, even if it’s not in Santa Maria, California or somewhere near the Central Coast. All of these accomplishments can be challenging at times, especially taking the next step of  having your own home. With financial planning and legalities, it all starts with a bit of knowledge of the industry and some research.

Purchasing a Home in the United States

The United States Real Estate market is tremendous, especially the Santa Maria Real Estate area since it is continuing to grow. One thing to keep in mind is that each state has their own unique set of policies, set of laws, and not to mention taxes. So don’t be surprised when you notice different tax rates in various cities and states. Also Keep in mind that their are many incentives for individuals such as veterans who have served our country. Veterans qualify for loans known as VA Loans and many lenders out there offer these kinds of incentives that better help them achieve the home of their dreams.

Property Taxes

As mentioned above, taxes vary by state. So when you are asking yourself how much house can I afford, do not forget to include property taxes as the tend to add up. They are used to fund public projects such as schools, parks, and things such as law enforcement. Knowing ahead of time what kind of taxes you will be paying will give you a better picture of the cost of living in your new home, especially if you are planning on moving out of state; do some research.

Educate Yourself On the Real Estate Market

One should also know what exactly drives house prices in the market, especially in the Central Coast Real Estate area because it has gained popularity in past years. Instability in house prices vary from state to state and from region to region. For example, a home in the Arroyo Grande, California will not have the same price as a beach from property in the Pismo Beach, California area even though their proximity is not to far apart. Same applies to locations such as Los Angeles, California and New York (especially within the city). We at Greater Mortgage Solutions and Valley Hills Realty want to teach you about the macro and micro trends that influence the real estate market. That way you can make a better decision when making a mortgage deal that is being offered to you.

So when you, a family member, or a close friend of yours is ready to achieve The American Dream, consider allowing one of our team of experts at Greater Mortgage Solutions and Valley Hills Realty help you attain the precise mortgage and the home you have always wanted. We are filled with team members that are ready to help you every step of the way.

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