Tag Archives: santa maria real estate

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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Home In Orcutt For Sale $290,000.00

If you are looking to buy a home we have a home near Orcutt, and if you want it to be near some of the schools in the Orcutt area look no further. Not only does this home have many upgrades and improvements and clean but in a great location right around the corner from Waller Park. Great for outings or spending time with the family. The home also boasts a new Air Condition unit that is only 2.5 yrs old. The Furnace is also fairly new only 2.5 yrs old. Water heater has been replaced only 3 yrs old. And a new sliding glass door just installed last month.

As soon as you walk in this house you will notice the bamboo flooring in the house complimenting the interior of the home. You will also notice the work that has been done on the walls that have been all rounded out, as well as the old popcorn ceiling has been removed. The back yard is very ample enough space to have plenty of entertaining and install a deck with room to spare. Also comes with a large brick BBQ to provide a genuine Santa Maria style BBQ for entertaining. For more info please contact us.

Lots Of Upgrades Here




Single Family Home
Main Features
3 Bedrooms
2 Bathrooms
Interior: 1,363 sqft
Lot: 7,405 sqft
Home Near Waller Park
Santa Maria, CA 93455

Valley Hills Valley Hills

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What To Do In A Short Sale


If you are in the process of doing a short sale or think you have to do one.  There are just a few things that you have to do.  Now I know that for many people this is a tough decision and even here in the Santa Maria real estate market we are still doing short sales.   But for some its one of the best decisions that you can make.  The reality is that sometimes you just have to look at things from a business point of view as an investor and take the emotional component out of.   The sooner you can look at things from a different perspective the easier it will be to move ahead and not only start over.  But you may even find yourself in a better position.

There are just a few things to remember that you have to do when you are doing a short sale.  Just follow the steps below.


1) Do not move out if you move out while in the process and before your lender approves your short sale.   Many times they will deny you any kind of financial assistance to relocate.  Since you moved out you no longer need the assistance.  This can actually be thousands of dollars and can vary from loan to loan as well from lender to lender.  So there is not a set amount or standard amount.   The largest dollar amount our office was able to get for a client was close to $20,000.00.  But on the flip side when your agent does get the approval you need to seriously make arrangements to be out in time, before the transaction closes.  You can forfeit those funds if not and kill the short sale transaction.  But just for the record typically a person receives $3,000.00 to $5,000.00.  But then some there are times the bank will no pay anything so keep that in mind as well.

Remember you have not been paying anything for months during the time the short sale has been in the approval process.  So when the time does come you should have plenty of money saved up.  Just because your not make mortgage payments does not mean you have extra money to spend.  You should be saving like your life depended on it.  Because in a way it does if you plan on starting over and money does make that a bit easier to do.

2) Income documentation you need to be organized your lender and agent will be asking for this repeatedly.  To the point of frustration.  Pay stubs and bank statements.  Your lender wants to see if based off of your paystubs if it is possible for you to afford those payments lets say if you were to get a home loan.  As well as bank statements just how much money do you have in the bank.  They will ask for these items in the beginning and near the end and several times during the whole process.   But if you prepared and organize you can easily just give it to them without any delays.

3) Most importantly is patience.  The short sale process is frustrating for everyone especially your agent.  He does not get paid till the transaction closes.  He will be make calls upon calls and resending the information over and over again.  If you take into account the number of months it takes to close a transaction, hourly income starts to look less and less.  So patience is needed because the process does take months we currently at the time of writing this have one transaction that we have had for over a year now.   Still sending up dated paystubs and bank statements to the lender only hoping for an approval soon.

4) One last thing you agent is paid by your lender.  You should not have to pay your agent anything to do the short sale for you.  If your agent is asking for funds upfront or some kind of processing fee this is where you need to cut your ties and look for another agent, pronto.

Good luck out there.



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What To Do If You Get Scammed From A Loan Modification

For the most part everyone knows by now, the numbers of homeowners struggling with foreclosure that are increasing. Countless homeowners are having trouble making their mortgage payments and are a missed payment or two away from a notice of default.  True they will be having to deal with how to fix bad credit and in the future how to get credit score back up.  But until that time you don’t want to be scammed if you are trying to save your home many of the homes in Santa Maria are for sale are either a short sale or even a foreclosure.   The reality is that the Santa Maria real estate market here in Santa Maria, California has been hit hard with values falling to over 50% of what their values were in the peak.

Many people will investigate any alternative to try and spare their house from foreclosure. This opens the door to scammers. The fact is, mortgage modification and foreclosure relief scams are popping up everywhere you go. As a homeowner you’ll want to know that they are out there and what to look for in order to steer clear of them. A scammer cannot only cost you money but can cost you vital time that you could use to save your house or get ready to move. You need dependable information on foreclosure or the short sale procedure in a timely manner.

Nearly all the ads you’ll notice will claim to help you save your home from foreclosure or lessen your house payment to an easily affordable level. Additionally they infer that they are associated with a government program or enjoy a direct line to your loan company. They don’t.  Certainly, there are honest businesses around that legitimately make an effort to aid homeowners yet, sadly, there is a high number that are simply scams.

Scammers are simple enough to spot simply because they generally ask for money up front. But, they’ve got other sorts of strategies as well. Look for these clues:

1. Someone who demands money at the start before they actually do anything. Many states have recently passed laws regulating money paid in advance for mortgage modification or foreclosure services. The most effective rule of thumb should be to not pay for anything in advance.

2. The scammers have ways of tracking down property owners who have missed payments or have their properties scheduled for auction. They then target these house owners knowing that they are more susceptible since they will be in a troubled situation. When you are one of these homeowners be extra vigilant in any dealings you may have with foreclosure rescue or mortgage modification companies.

3. Some scammers attempt to get you to sign the deed to your house over to them claiming they are going to make the payment on your property. They will not.

4. You should not make a mortgage payment to any person besides your lender. More than likely, you will not see that money again and neither will your lender.

5. Be aware of the phrasing of certain promotions that make it sound like they work directly with a government bailout program. They almost certainly do not. They more than likely would just like to make you another high fee, high interest consolidation loan which will only buy you a little time at great cost.

6. Getting a letter from a real estate agent offering you free services to do a loan modification.  Unless they are a govt sponsored consumer group they do not receive any funding so what is the motive to offer you this service for free? That truly involves lots of paperwork as well as time on the phone?  Well its to eventually get you to sell the home on a short sale so that they can earn a commission on selling your home but not necessarily help you get the loan modification as you may have been hoping for.

Ok, so what if you’ve recently been scammed? Well, you possibly can report the issue to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). They have a web based complaint assistant and have a hotline at 1-877-FTC-HELP. You can also uncover good information regarding foreclosure or short sale consequences online.  There are many benefits to doing a short sale as well but you will have to read about that on my other blogs.  One thing to keep in mind regardless of what you plan on doing is that the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act of 2007 expires in 2012 and there will be tax consequences that will occur after that.   Please seek some legal counsel as well as some tax council as to what you want to do next year if you feel that maybe you will not qualify for a loan modification to avoid some serious tax consequences from the I.R.S.

There is also the NeighborWorks America group that educates the general public about loan modification scams. The best way to avoid these scams would be to educate yourself on the many varieties of scams and be very cautious about any individual offering to help modify your loan or save your house from foreclosure.

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