Aside

How does location affect my home value?

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We all know the three key factors in real estate: Location, Location, Location. Maybe it is an over-simplified axiom, but it is still relevant today. But what variables affect home price? Here are some of the major ones that affect locational home value:

  • On a cul-de-sac vs. drive thru street
  • On a busy vs. quiet street
  • Gated vs. non-gated community
  • Views of ocean, lake, or mountains vs. buildings, industrial, etc.
  • The School Boundary in which it lies (will go up or down based on desirability of school)
  • Walkability to outdoor activities, stores, restaurants, and businesses
  • Lies within a Natural Hazard Zone (Fire, Flood, etc.)
  • Known area to negatively affect value (such as soil settlement issues, nearby or in a commercial zone, under a flight path, near active train tracks, etc) 
  • Stage of neighborhood life cycle (Growth, Stability, Decline, or Renewal)

These are some key aspects to pay attention to and let guide your decision-making when searching for a long-term home.

Chris Chin |Broker & Owner

Seaside Realty

DRE 01882756 | SeasideRealtyVC.com

830 E. Santa Clara St.  Ventura, CA 93001

Cell 805.258.2870   Fax 805.856.1583

Aside

The Dirty Words – Mello Roos!

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What are Mello Roos? 

The Community Facilities Act (aka Mello-Roos) enacted in 1982 enabled “Community Facilities Districts” (CFDs) to be established by local government agencies, creating bonds to pay for public works and public services. These services may include streets, water, sewage and drainage, electricity, infrastructure, schools, parks and police protection to newly developing areas. The tax paid is used to make the payments of principal and interest on the bonds.

What areas have Mello Roos taxes in Ventura County?

In Oxnard, the Riverpark community (off 101 and Oxnard Blvd) as well as the Seabridge community (Victoria Ave and Wooley Rd) have mello roos taxes. Moorpark Highlands in Moorpark and the Bridges Community in Fillmore have mello roos as well.

How do I find out the amount of mello roos for a property?

The quickest and easiest way is to go online to Ventura County Assessor’s Property Characteristics and Value page and fill in the property address or APN (Assessor’s Parcel Number). Once you click submit, the APN and address should appear below. Click on the APN which will show the property identification information below. On the fourth line, click on “click to see values”. Lastly, click “view your tax bill”.

How do I know which items are the mello roos on the tax bill?

Under the special assessment section, the items labeled as CFD (Community Facilities Districts) will be the mello roos tax amount.

What else should I know about Mello Roos?

Certain mello roos have an end period and some do not. For instance, the Seabridge community in Oxnard has 2 CFD special assessments, one which expires with a maturity date and one that does not. CFD 3 is for the infrastructure improvements (waterways, etc.) and it is a bond that matures in 2035. CFD 4 is a maintenance district to pay for ongoing operational items (park/landscape maintenance, storm drain maintenance, harbor patrol, etc.) which does not expire.

*As always, Buyers are recommended to do all due diligence to their satisfaction. For legal advice, contact an attorney. For tax matters, consult a CPA. For Mello Roos information, go to your local governing authority for the most up to date information.

Chris Chin Seaside Realty   DRE 01882756

SeasideRealtyVC.com       VCHomeWorth.com

Gallery

VA Loan

The Veteran’s Administration (VA) Loan is an excellent loan with unique benefits listed below:

  • 100% Financing (although the more you put down, the lower the VA Funding Fee)

  • No PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance)

  • VA Appraisal makes sure home is safe, sound, and sanitary

The VA Funding Fee is usually a cost that VA benefit holders are unaware of, but it is a fee that should be known about upfront. Most lenders will allow you to put the VA Funding Fee into the loan balance which still allows for a zero down payment. But don’t confuse zero down payment with no closing costs. You will still incur closing costs, but a seller credit or a lender credit may help offset those costs. If you are on active duty or a veteran,  the VA Funding Fee  for first time purchasers are as follows:

  • Less than 5%, Funding Fee is 2.15%

  • 5% to 9.99%, Funding Fee is 1.50%

  • 10% or more, Funding Fee is 1.25%

For Guard and Reservists, the fee is slightly higher.

An exemption to the VA Funding Fee exists for anyone with a 10% or more disability rating.

If you are interested in utilizing your VA Home Loan benefits, please contact us and we will put you in touch with a reputable VA Lender that will help you achieve your homeownership goals.

Chris Chin |Broker & Owner

November 12, 2014

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For Sale by Owner

For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Statistics

  • FSBOs accounted for 9% of home sales in 2013. The typical FSBO home sold for $184,000 compared to $230,000 for agent-assisted home sales.

  • FSBO methods used to market home:

    • Yard sign: 36%

    • Friends, relatives, or neighbors: 28%

    • None: Did not actively market home: 32%

  • Most difficult tasks for FSBO sellers:

    • Understanding and performing paperwork: 18%

    • Getting the right price: 13%

* Statistics and chart from the National Association of Realtors

Seen from the chart, the percentage of sellers selling on their own has been gradually decreasing since 1991. The percentage has decreased by about 50%. With home searches starting online with buyers, sellers need to have their listing syndicated to all the major real estate sites such as Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com, etc for maximum exposure to all potential buyers.

With litigation on the rise and real estate disclosures increasing and continually changing, hiring an experienced and qualified Realtor to guide and have the proper paperwork completed will lessen the burden that FSBO sellers expressed as the number one difficult task.

From a Realtor’s perspective, one reason not to sell FSBO (For Sale by Owner) is to avoid the onslaught of Realtors who will call and drop by your home to try and list your home. Realtors are a persistent bunch and generally do not stop until the home sells or gets listed with an agent. It is not uncommon for an FSBO to get more calls from Realtors trying to list the home than qualified buyers.

Another reason listing as a FSBO may not be the best idea is that buyers are aware that a FSBO seller is trying to save on the commission paid to Realtors and will account for that in their offer as they want a deal as a buyer also. Many FSBO sellers cooperate with the buyer’s agent and pay them for bringing in a buyer. If that is the case, then a FSBO seller is saving only half the commission that would be paid to a listing agent.

Wondering if there is any reason why a seller should consider being an FSBO when selling? There certainly is: If the seller already has a buyer lined up who is willing to pay fair market value, then selling FSBO may make sense. If that  is your case, I would be glad to put you in contact with an escrow officer to get your home sold without agents involved (this would apply to Ventura County properties).

Happy Home Selling!

Chris Chin |Broker & Owner

October  16, 2014

Bathroom Remodel: Waterproofing Your Shower

The original master bathroom of our 1960 Ventura Home was in need of a major overhaul by the time we purchased the property in 2013. Having been around plenty of construction for flips and property management, I had a good idea of what the project would entail.

Choosing the type and overall style of the bathroom was not the challenging aspect since my wife has always wanted a classic look that stays in touch with the style of the builder’s era. So we went with matte 4×16 white subway tiles laid in brick pattern.  For a modern touch, the shower floor is honed carrera marble but in a honeycomb pattern with matching 2×4 tiles for the two niches. The flooring for the rest of the bathroom will be a distressed antique white inspired by the surrounding rustic, country feel.

Now onto the the reason for this blog. I came across an excellent product that I am extremely happy with the results.  There are different ways to waterproof a shower; however, I gravitated towards the topical method. I think most people are familiar with Redgard which the big box stores like Lowes and Home Depot carry. My contractor-friend, Scott Crawford from No Limits Construction, recommended the product called Ardex, which is a 2-part compound that you need to mix. Once the hardibacker was put up, we used Ardex on mesh for the joints.  Then, we proceeded with two coats of the product rolled on with a standard paint roller.  That simple.

If you are a DIY type, FloorElf.com has some good resources to complete your bathroom renovation. If not, I highly recommend Batt Brothers Tile from the Ventura County area.

Happy waterproofing!

Chris Chin |Broker & Owner

September 26, 2014

Affordable Housing Options and Instructions

Though we have seen growth in certain areas, home-ownership can still be a steep hill to climb for many! Some may be surprised to know that there are several Affordable Housing Program areas available.

Nine developments within the City of Ventura fall under the Affordable Housing Program.

  • Country Groves / County Harvest (Telegragh Rd cross Pistachio Ave; Casa St, Date Ave, Sage St, Cinnamon Oak Ave, Apple Ave, Plum St, Peach Ave, Cid St): 69 Moderate Income 3 Bedroom and 77 Moderate Income 4 Bedroom

  • La Paloma (S. Saticoy Ave cross North Bank Dr; Daphne Ave, Verbena St, Marigold Ave, Poppy St, Lobelia Ave, and Sunflower St): 32 Moderate Income 3 Bedroom and 63 Moderate Income 4 Bedroom

  • Los Cabos (N. Ventura Ave cross Los Cabos Ln): 23 Moderate Income 4 Bedroom

  • North Bank Greens

  • Seneca Gardens (N. Ventura Ave cross Seneca St): 8 Low Income 2 Bedroom

  • Seneca Highlands (Scattered on Seneca St, Nocumi St, and Katari Ave): 4 Low Income 3 Bedroom, 1 Low Income 4 Bedroom, 15 Moderate Income 3 Bedroom, and 27 moderate 4 Bedroom

  • Harmony (Telephone Rd cross Saratoga Ave; Dorsey St, Fitzgerald Ave, Northwind Ct): 10 Moderate Income 2 Bedroom

  • Melody (Telephone Rd cross Saratoga Ave; Holiday Ave, Basie St, Getz Ave, Gillespie St): 7 Moderate Income 2 Bedroom

  • Mayfair (E. Santa Clara cross N. Ash St): 1 Moderate Income 2 Bedroom

For SELLERS under this program, you will need to do the following:

  • State your intent to sell

  • Provide the address of the house for sale

  • Date escrow closed when current owner purchased the property

  • Purchase price of the property at the close of escrow, when the current owner purchased the property

  • Number of bedrooms

  • Provide legal names and signatures

  • Attach a copy of the escrow settlement statement, or tax report, as supporting documentation of the home purchase price

For BUYERS under this program, you will need to first meet income requirements which can be found Here.  And if you would like to be placed on a waitlist, you can fill out the Interested Affordable Homebuyer’s Intake Form and send it to the address provided on the form. If you submitted an offer on a listed home under the program and are in escrow, buyer/s will need to fill out an Affordable Housing Program Application.

Here are the buyer requirements:

  1. Your income must not exceed the Maximum Allowable Household Income Limit.

  2. Within five days of opening escrow the HACSB should be contacted by either the buyer or the listing agent by submitting the completed signed original Affordable Housing Program application along with the requested documentation.

  3. Within 10 days of opening escrow, the buyer needs to submit all required income documentation to the City to include most recent paystubs for all wage earners in the household, three years W-2s and federal tax returns, and current statements for all bank accounts.

Hopefully this gives you the necessary starting point to make your sale or purchase a reality. Please email if you are interested in more details!

Chris Chin |Broker & Owner

Seaside Realty

DRE 01882756 | SeasideRealtyVC.com

830 E. Santa Clara St.  Ventura, CA 93001

Cell 805.258.2870

September 8, 2014

 

Loan Pre-Approval

Seaside Realty

One of the keys to a successful real estate transaction is a smooth loan process. Sounds simple enough, and it almost always is when the buyer provides all necessary documents requested by the loan officer. Why are the proper documents so essential? Here are two reasons:

(1) When your loan officer inputs your information into an automated desktop underwriter program, the initial approval for your loan, which still needs to be verified, scrutinized, and approved by human underwriters, is only as good as the data inputed.  For example, if your loan officer inputs data that is incorrect based not on the documents provided but your verbal information, and the information is wrong, then you could possibly be denied the loan down the road.  And to have a loan denied in escrow is of course, upsetting and stressful.

(2) A reason for delayed full approval from underwriters is when the buyers do not satisfy all the conditions of the loan, including complete documentation.  With a standard escrow period of 30 days (possibly longer for non-conventional loans or other circumstances) and the standard 17 day loan contingency, providing all documentation upfront will speed the approval process.  And every buyer certainly wants full approval from the lending institution before the 17 day loan contingency in order to not worry about your earnest money deposit being taken as liquidated damages for non-performance if the loan gets denied after removing the loan contingency.

WHAT DOCUMENTS ARE REQUIRED OF THE BUYER?

As the lending environment seems to be changing daily, this is a basic list (not all-inclusive for every transaction):

  • Last two years of tax returns

  • Last two W-2s from employer

  • Last two months of bank statements (including retirement accounts, investment accounts, etc)

  • If renting, possibly cancelled checks for the past year

  • If you own investment properties or are self employed, expect to provide additional documentation

Here are some DO’s and DON’Ts prior to getting a loan:

  • Do review your credit for errors

  • Do have your deposit and closing funds showing in your last two financial statements (unless you are receiving as gift funds).  Otherwise, you will have to verify the source.

  • Don’t apply for new credit

  • Don’t cancel any credit accounts

  • Don’t make any major purchases

Chris  Chin |Broker & Owner

August 26, 2014