Tag Archives: Buying A Home

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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Why You Need To Know What Your Debt Ratio Is If You Plan On Buying A Home

The days of easy qualifying to buy a house are over and even if the banks loosen the guidelines in getting a home loan I doubt they will be like it was in the past.  From 2003 to 2007 it was pretty much all you needed to buy a home was a pulse, the Santa Maria real estate market was booming like every other place in the country .  Really all you needed was a pulse back then to qualify and some ID proving who you were, no lie.  Which is probably why we had so many foreclosures including future wannabe Donald Trumps just buying and flipping left and right until the day the party ended then it all came tumbling down.  Now you still needed to have some form credit just not terribly bad credit.  You were able to get a stated income loan with only 580 fico score.  In today’s world 90% of the banks would give you a turned down without blinking with that score.  Back then you stated your income so you can qualify.  No one verified, so if you said you made $10k then you made $10k.

In the new world of the after math of Great Recession which I think was more like a second Depression.  You really have to prove what you make and your bills do really count against you.  What comes into play is what is the amount of debt you have and will have with your new mortgage payment taking into consideration, your taxes and your insurance not just your mortgage payment.   Most lenders will cap you out at 45% debt ratios.  There may be a few that will go higher but till your loan is approved and you have your keys I would recommend you stick with a 45% debt ratio as a guideline.

So lets say you make a $2k a month then your mortgage payment including any car payments, child support , or credit cards cannot exceed $900.00, which is 45% of $2k.  Depending where you live it is going to be very difficult to find a home with a mortgage payment and your bills for less than $900.00.  If you had a car payment of $500.00 then your mortgage cannot exceed $400.00 a month.   So knowing what bills you have that may show up on a credit report will give you an idea of what you may be able to qualify with a monthly payment.

The other 65% is used to survive.  You will still have to buy food , go out and have a life not to mention utilities etc.  Now when trying to figure out your income use the gross if you are a w2 employee. So that is before taxes now if you are self employed you will have to use what you actually reported on your tax return.  Does not matter what your company made its what you reported to the govt.  Usually they can add back in depreciation or one time large capital investments.

So keep in mind when buying that car or what ever it may be that you will have to deduct that from what your income in using to qualify for a home loan.  If you have any questions just let me know.  Good Luck

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What Stops Most People From Getting Qualified For A Home Loan

If you plan on buying a home this year, here are couple of things to keep in mind.  So you do not kill your chances on getting a home loan this year and stop yourself from getting qualified for a home loan.   This will not cover everything that can keep you from getting a home loan but these are the two biggest things that seem to kill the deals that come my way.

1) This is the number one killer on getting a home loan, and stopping someone from buying a home.  Buying a car, is the number one killer whether that be a new car or a used car.  If you even think it may be a possibility that you want to buy a house this year or the next.  Wait on the car unless you can buy it cash or just changed your mind on buying a home.  Most car loans are for 5 years, so if for example your debt to income does not justify the car payment and a mortgage payment.  You may be looking at 5 years till you get qualified for a home loan.

Another thing even if you are planning on co-signing for your son or daughter that car payment just became your car payment.  If you do not want that debt to be considered as part of your debt, then make sure that your son or daughter gets their own checking account in their name only.  Make sure that they make the payments on time and after one year.  So that way the debt will not be counted against you, and keeping you from qualifying for a home loan.

2) The number two killer for qualifying for home loans.  Is paying your bills.  Even if they are old collections or just small accounts does not matter that it is a $40.00 balance that you may have on your credit card.  If you for some reason forget to pay your bills because you are just too stressed or frustrated for what ever reason.  Then you end up having a 30 day late or maybe even a 60 day late from the last time you had your credit checked and got qualified to buy a home.  So you find your home and submit your offer based off of your last approval.  But then a new credit check is done and now because you have some accounts showing that you paid late.  Your score just dropped a few points that could be enough for you to not qualify for a home loan.  Also if you know you are planning on buying a home don’t get any new cards.  That 10 or 20 % discount is just not worth it.

So don’t buy any new cars or even used ones, if you plan on buying a car in the near future, and pay your bills on time.  Good Luck !!


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What If Bought A Home And Defect Not Disclosed And Did Not Use An Agent

Betty asks…

What rights does a home buyer after closing?

We bought a house that was for sale by owner and we came without a real estate agent. Since buying the house we have had several major repairs ( that repairmen indicated were a result of ongoing problems).  Can I request that the seller pay for repairs since they didn’t provide a disclosure statement?

admin answers:

You need a Real Estate attorney.

I know that there are Real Estate transactions that occur without an agent.  Usually its because the seller does not want to pay the commission involved in paying the real estate agent.  Since it typically falls on the seller not the buyer.  But an agent looks out for you in the transaction making sure all disclosures are signed and that all information that should be disclosed is disclosed, and that is considered material.   This is not to say that there are not Real Estate agents that do not bend the rules or just try to close the deal, and that there is never an issue when doing a transaction with an agent.  No matter what occupation, you will always have some bad apples in every industry.

As for your situation typically, failure to provide such a disclosure entitles a buyer to a specific remedy,  but a lot of that may be dependent on what you signed in your contract and what you may have agreed to prior to closing.   You need to get with a real estate attorney and see what remedies are available to you.

The “problems” may be the responsibility of the former owner regardless of the Disclosure issue. If you are to make out a claim against them, you’ll probably need to prove four things ( so see a local attorney):
1. Did They KNOW about the problems ?
2. They intently not tell you ?
3. Was there no way for you to know otherwise without them telling you?

Good LUCK !!



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Advice On Buying A Home From A Former Renter

For many buying a home will be the biggest investment they make in their life.  Below is a actual advice from someone who just recently purchased not too long and can relate to the anxiety as well as what to do and not to do.


I moved into my first home in February 2012.

At age 45 I was finally able to buy my first home. It was the most exciting and trying time of my life. This was not only the most expensive purchase of my life but I knew I was entering an experience I really knew nothing about. I was going to have a whole lot of new responsibilities and have to learn new things as a homeowner.


There is a lot of information out there on purchasing a home and it can be overwhelming.  I want to keep it simple and just pass on a few tips.


1. Get a credit report. Find out what your credit rating is. If it’s low make a plan to clean it up. There are tons of information on the internet on how to raise your credit rating. 
2. GET PREQUALIFIED FIRST!  The reason I put this in caps is that it’s the first thing you need to do.  Know what you’re qualified for. I was online viewing homes for 6 months before I knew what I could afford. Know what your reality is and stop wasting time on things that are not within your reach. Focus on your goal and look at homes that are within your budget. You have to know how much you have to shop with. It’s like walking into Gucci when you really can only shop at Target. Nice to look at but you’re not going to be able to buy anything.


3. Ask your lender what will your estimate closing costs be? What will your down payment be?


What are the advantages of putting more money down? Ask questions even if you think they sound dumb. If you’re confused ask!


4. Interview your agent. You are hiring them to find/ sell a home. Ask them – do you have referrals, Websites, why should I hire you? What will you do for me? Do you feel comfortable with this person?  Remember this is going to be your best friend/advocate for the next few months.


5. Speaking of months it took 7 months from the time we put in an offer on our home to getting the keys.  Realize buying a house isn’t like going to a car lot. It’s a process and it may take months. Many people don’t realize this and get anxious or angry. You should have a good agent who communicates to you and keeps you informed. Again ask questions!


6. Don’t buy anything on credit like new furniture for the place you haven’t bought or a car. Do not co-sign for anyone. It will definitely affect your credit and may change your credit rating.


7. Learn to compromise. The kitchen may old, but you are in the neighborhood you want. Remember you can always update later. A year later my kitchen is still in the process of being remodeled but I love my neighborhood. Some people say they are looking for the “perfect house”.  They may be looking for a long time.
8. Don’t move around your money. No big withdrawals or deposits in your savings or checking accounts. You will have to show proof of it to your lenders and it’s a big time hassle for you. I had to spend a week getting statements, receipts and writing letters for big cash deposits I did.


9. Don’t let this experience cause Extreme stress on your life. The reason I say Extreme is because when you buy a home there is some stress to be expected but don’t let it turn you into a mess. Take it day by day.

I told my husband that buying our house was more stressful that going to college. There’s a lot of learning, commitment and finances involved. We finally got the keys to our new home and the first thing I thought of when I walked in was “ I can paint these walls any damn color I want . This coming from a former renter.

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