🏡How to Save on #HOME Closing Costs – #Irvine

 Home Closing Costs -  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California  - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com
Typically you can expect to pay anywhere from 2% to 5% on the price of the home as closing costs.
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Purchasing a property will always have certain costs associated with it. These costs are called the closing costs and are normal and customary for a home purchase, although some will differ from one state to another,  but the components of closing costs are pretty much uniform regardless of which part of the country you live in.

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Closing costs are made up of:

Closing Costs Fees - Christina Khandan - Irvine California IrvineHomeBlog.com

(depending on the transaction you might or might not be responsible for all of the above)

A standard closing cost will usually run you about 2% to 5% of the purchase price of the home. Assume you are buying a $800,000.00 home in Southern California, The Closing costs can be a substantial amount if the range is between $16,000.00 to $35,000.00. These amounts are affected during the price negotiations and the offer process for your home. There are several things you can do to save money on your closing costs and here are few examples of them.

1. Negotiation Process:
during the offer process you have to negotiate with the seller. Find out what your estimated costs will be and make sure you try to build some or all of it into the offer. The payment of all closing costs can be a very important part of the negotiation with the seller. This can vary depending on what kind of a Real Estate market you are in. The Sellers motivation to sell and their timing is also very important. Know why they are selling. Do some work and find out why they are selling. Having some facts can help you in the offer process and come out ahead at the end.

2. Shopping:
prior to making the offer for your dream home, do some research and shop for your closing costs. Mortgage rates are not the only item you need to shop for. Everything from Inspection to Title insurance you can do some shopping around and ask for best prices. This can be a great way to save money. One peace of information you might want to keep in mind, is that the seller has the right to choose the Title and Escrow company.

3. Community:
different communities around the country will have closing costs which are higher and lower depending on the locality of the property. Many high-tax areas of the country have much higher closing costs which will get you toward the upper end of the range 5% to 6%. Some areas will have flat rates on certain parts of closing costs like Title insurance or Escrow fees. Take the time and ask around in your community, friends and family, Realtor advice always helps too. Its always best to research the estimates close to your community, better doing some research, rather than blindly assuming a wrong number as the basis for your closing costs.

4. Timing the Closing Schedule.
It is suggested to try and keep the closing date toward the end of the month. It might seem like penny pinching but every penny will count towards how much you will end up paying for your home. Bottom line many lenders assess a charge between the settlement date and the last day of the month. This is to cover the lenders fees and compensate the lender before you will be paying the full principal and interest payment the following month after closing. Even if a nominal amount is involved this cost can be reduced by a good margin if you schedule your closing toward the end of the month.

5. Full checkup.
make sure you get a good faith estimate right up front. Between the initial good faith and final closing the Escrow, title and others tend to add additional fees and expect you to not notice it. Always compare your Good faith estimate with your final cost sheet and make sure the numbers are what you had initially been promised. If you do see a significant price change on any line item make sure you have access to a good Real Estate Attorney and keep all your legal options open.

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Don’t let the process stop you from getting a deal on your next home purchase. Do not be embarrassed to negotiate on the price or costs. If the tables were turned they would be asking or the kitchen sink. So make sure you work on your skills, information gathering techniques and remember if you don’t ask for it the seller will not be offering you any price breaks.

 

 

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🏡Homeowner Association Dues (HOA) – #Irvine

Homeowner Association & Credit Score -  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California  - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com\HomeDecor
How Homeowner Association Dues can affect Your Credit? If you live in a community with a homeowners’ association, you probably have to pay association dues. They can run anywhere from less than $100 a year to more than $1,000 a month, depending on the community. What happens if you don’t pay?
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What can HOA members do to protect themselves?

First thing to understand is Credit report items related to Homeowner Association Dues (HOA) do not show up on your credit report unless there is a problem.

The only way the credit reporting agencies get this information is via a negative reporting from a foreclosure or judgement. Many reporting agencies have people that comb through the public records for this kind of information, and this is usually the only other way this can show up on a homeowner’s credit report.
To avoid any credit damage from your HOA, try to make payment arrangement with the HOA and do whatever you can to get current.It is best to get started on this before the HOA Attorney receives your file for collection. This could and will result in Attorney fees and expenses.

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HOA payment obligations on a property are a legally binding promises between the Homeowner and the HOA and is enforceable under law.

If you are experiencing payments delay issues, monitor your credit report and get a free credit report once a year to see if anything shows up on your credit report. (CreditKarma.com) is a good source.

 

Prior to purchase of any home within an HOA, make sure you read and understand all restrictions and rules regarding your homeowner association.

 

Homeowner associations are responsible for much more than just payments. If you do not paint your home or take care of your Landscape they will send you fix it notice and an allotted time to take care of it. If you do not take care of these requests, plan to be paying large fines until you take care of them.
When searching for a home I always tell my clients to be aware of Homeowner Association Neighborhoods. Yes they are great to have for when you have a neighbor which wants to change their home color to Pink but at the same time you have to follow the rules and upkeep your home.

 

 

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🏡Stage a Clean #Home – #Irvine

built in nook
built in nook with a very clean look

Preparing your home is key to making sure you receive the best purchase offer possible.  This is one of the key responsibilities of a good Realtor. When choosing your Realtor make sure they plan to work with you from the beginning to the end. You need someone who knows how to Stage your home according to your budget and make it sell for best Dollar. One thing to keep in mind, spending thousands  of dollars on new furniture and appliances should not be your priority.

Read More: Choose Your Realtor Wisely

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Do not allow your Realtor to take pictures for Listing your home until you are ready and comfortable with the way your home looks.

Most buyers these days pretty much choose the home they will be buying via the internet Search. They will visit the home last just to confirm what they have seen. Buyers do not have the time and they prefer to do most of their research online, that is why you need to have quality staging followed by great photographs.

Here are some basic rules to keep in mind and implement:

1. Remove all clutter – you want your house to be seen and focused on rather than your belongings. Remove your personal belongings. Leave three items of varying heights on each surface For example, place a lamp, a small plant, and a book on an end table.

2. Furniture Placement – After #3, you need to rearrange the furniture to what is trending now. Ask you Realtor for assistance. This is one of her main duties to make sure the house looks good and furniture is placed properly around the house.

3. Furniture – Cut back on the furniture. If you have a lot of  items covering pretty much all of the living room corners, you know what you need to do.

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4. Clean the house – Do a Thorough cleaning of the house, if some touch of paint is required, get it done. Baseboards always can use some color.

5. Color – If you can add it to the budget add some color to some of the rooms. Use current fashion paint, visit home models or ask your Realtor for ideas.

6. Landscape – If you do have front/back yard make it look the best it can. Add some flowers and new soil along with lighting to the front of the house. If you have outdoor sitting, BBQ, Fireplace, make sure they are cleaned and up to par. Investment in a small fountain is not a bad idea.

 

 

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🏡Mello-Roos Tax – #Home #Irvine

Mello Roos Pic

In 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote, in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, “ . . . in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

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And one certain thing about taxes is that, once imposed, they are usually increased, seldom reduced, and almost never go away.

In 1978, California voters passed Proposition 13, which restricted the ability of local public agencies to raise funds by increasing property taxes. To provide an alternate method of financing public improvements, state Senator Henry J. Mello (D-Watsonville) and Assemblyman Mike Roos (D-Los Angeles) co-authored the Community Facilities Act of 1982.

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This Act made it possible first to define a community facilities district (CFD) and then to tax all of the parcels within that district as a means of paying the principal and interest on bonds used to fund facilities—such as parks, roads, and schools—for that district.

Thus, rather than forcing builders to pay upfront for projects to meet the needs their developments created, it was possible for government agencies to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars for those projects and to pay off that debt through Mello-Roos taxes collected over decades.

MelloRoos Def

 

Mello-Roos is a form of financing that can be used by cities, counties, and special districts (such as school disricts). Mello-Roos Community Facilities Districts (referred to as “CFDs”) raise money through special taxes that must be approved by 2/3rds of the voters within the district. A CFD is formed to finance major improvements and services within the district which might include schools, roads, libraries, police and fire protection services, or ambulance services. The taxes are secured by a continuing lien and are levied annually against property within the district

All new communities in Orange County will impose some level of Mello-Roos tax to support their Education, Parks and more. Communities that do not impose this tax are always older homes within the community. That is not to say older homes in Irvine or rest of Orange County are in less quality school districts.

My advice to my client purchasing homes in Orange County is:

  1. Plan for Minimum 1% Property Tax
  2. Your monthly Mortgage Payment
  3. Homeowner Association dues (HOA)
  4. Homeowner Insurance
  5. Always have your Agent Check for Mello Roos Tax

Knowing these basic rules when planning to purchase a home you should have a pretty good understanding of your monthly confirmed expense for your home purchase.

Usually you can put in a property address and see the breakdown of all the taxes if you go through the “pay your bill online” button. I have found searching by address to be a little unreliable though. By parcel number always works.

Resources:

Orange County Treasurer Tax Collector

 

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🏡 5 Things to Consider When Buying Your #Home – #Irvine

Always Remember: Neighberhood, School and Price

Always Remember: Neighborhood, School and Price

 

Few Secrets to Buying Your First Piece of Real Estate

Choosing where to live and work can be difficult specially if your are just getting started out of school and are starting a family. There are some basic simple rules to follow when you are deciding where to live and raise your children. These are simple and to the point so take a minute think how each will relate to your lifestyle and requirements.

 

1. Community – Basic conveniences, access to park and Entertainment, Family and School District

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2. Mortgage – Pick what you can afford
3. Inspect – Get a home inspector before buying a home
4. Decor – Look past the decor of the House you are looking at and imagine the house empty

5. Outside Influence – Keep the Decision making process limited to key few people

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Short Video showing you some basic Criteria to look for before Buying your Home

 

Affordability:

 
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Window

rain by window -  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California Realtor - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com
simple & calm friday – window with a candle

Rain view out of the window with a candle – make your Friday be calm and relaxing.

I know the speed of life is pretty fast around Southern California. From taking kids to school, getting to work, shopping, food and everything else in between the day is filled with tasks.

Taking a few minutes for yourself is always a good idea. Make the time and give yourself a break once in a while. I have family and friends which don’t like the concept of “taking it easy” from time to time but to each their own.

Irvine is a busy city in Southern California. Many high tech businesses have formed and moved companies to Irvine. Housing construction and pricing has been pretty strong.

Many of my clients are still looking to relocate or move to Irvine. I do remind them the Education and Housing is great but do take the time and enjoy yourself a bit too.

Have a good friday.

 

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🏡 Turtle Rock a Great Community in #Irvine

Turtle Rock -  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California Realtor - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com
Turtle Rock, Irvine California

The desirable neighborhood of Turtle Rock in Irvine provides great schools and a variety of real estate price points.

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You can check Turtle Rock Home prices on my Reports and Analysis Page for Current Month update of Homes around Turtle Rock neighborhood. (Click Here)

Turtle Rock is a neighborhood in the south part of Irvine, Orange County, California near Concordia University, Irvine and the University of California, Irvine. It is bounded to the north by University Drive and Mason Regional Park, to the east by the Strawberry Farms Golf Club and Ridgeline Drive, to the south by Shady Canyon Drive, and to the west by Culver Drive. Turtle Rock is one of the five “villages” originally forming Irvine; its 1967 founding is commemorated by a sculpture of a turtle in Turtle Rock Community Park, at the corner of Turtle Rock and Sunnyhill Drives. A two-lane internal loop road, Turtle Rock Drive, encircles the village and carries traffic between housing developments and the city’s main streets.

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Geographically, Turtle Rock lies in the San Joaquin Hills. Although the highest peak in the neighborhood is also sometimes called Turtle Rock, this hill has no official name. A lower peak to the north, also within the neighborhood, is called French Hill. While it is not entirely clear where the name “Turtle Rock” comes from, there is a rocky outcropping on Rockview Drive at the northern end of the neighborhood that is now maintained as part of an association park. This rock has the shape of the front of a turtle’s carapace, and is sacred to the Gabrieleño Native Americans.[citation needed] It is often locally considered to be the origin of the name “Turtle Rock”. This is the outcropping often referred to as “Turtle Rock”. It is held sacred by the Gabrieleño Indians, and is located in the northern part of the Turtle Rock neighborhood, near Concordia University, Irvine.

Schools within Turtle Rock include Turtle Rock Preschool, Turtle Rock Elementary School, Bonita Canyon Elementary School, University High School, and Concordia University.

 

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🏡 Home Maintenance Guide – #Irvine #Home

Home Maintenance Guide red   - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California Realtor - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com

As a landlord or property manager, examine your units regularly for these minor fixes and take care of them before they become a huge expense. Few basic rules to follow for your home maintenance needs. Specially if you are getting ready to sell.

 

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1. Check for leaks.

Identifying-and-fixing -  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California Realtor - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com

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2. Re-caulk showers and tile grout.

 Regular-use-of-bathroom  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California Realtor - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com

3. Update electrical wires.

 - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California Realtor - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com

4. Re-paint your property.

Don't-wait-until-you-can  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California Realtor - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com

5. Replace the air filters.

Waiting-for-your-air -  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California Realtor - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com

6. Regularly test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Schedule-a-time-with  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California Realtor - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com

7. Check for pests.

Waiting-until-you -  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California Realtor - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com

8. Landscape

Try-to-regularly  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California Realtor - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com

 

 

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🏡 First Time Home Buyer – #Irvine #Home

Rent to Ownership Guide  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California Realtor - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com

 

1. The New Monthly Payment Amount – If you are renting and planning to switch over and become a Homeowner, are you able to meet your monthly expenses. Are you behind on rent, did you have problem making any of your rent or credit card payments. The amount you are paying for rent right now is an indicator of what you can afford when looking for a home. When working with your lender make sure this is the amount you get approved for at  a minimum and your work around this number as a guide and starting point. If the lender approves you for more and you take it, you better have other source of income otherwise you will have problems down the road.

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Dear New home Buyer -  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California Realtor - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com

Once you have all the information and approval from the lender then that is the time to start looking for your home.

 

2. Calculating How Much mortgage you can afford. Your lender has approved you for $2500.00 a month for your mortgage payment. This is based on the amount of money you and/or your spouse are making together at this time. If you are in medical school and you know you will be making more money in 2+ years, you should not adjust the mortgage to fit your future potential. If your spouse is expecting a Holiday bonus or big promotion over the next 3-6 months, don’t base your mortgage payment off of her/his potential salary increase. You can not predict the future, even though you might be in a better financial situation in 2 years, there is no guarantee what will happen.

3. Make sure you account for all expenses coming your way. Failing to account for closing cost, HOA (HomeOwner Associations), Home Insurance, Property Tax, Maintenance, Upgrades can cause some devastating home ownership experience. When you are renting your payments are pretty much limited to rent and that is it. When you become a homeowner the mortgage payment is just the first cost associated with ownership. HOA can be as low as $50 all the way up to $600+ depending if you are living in a Condominium with a lot of amenities like gated access, Pool, Tennis courts etc.

Homeowner insurance can vary based on where you live. Home Insurance is about $100+ per month depending if you live in a special zone like fire or flood area. Home Property taxes are usually about 1% to 2% of the assessed value of the home and land depending on the community, and state you live in.

Then on top of all of those costs, if your down payment is less than 20 percent of the selling price, you may end up paying an additional cost — private mortgage insurance (PMI) — which is basically insurance for the lender in case you default on your loan.

 

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Bottom line when calculating what your payments will be as a homeowner you need to make sure you have these numbers totaled and consider before switching over from a Renter to Owner.

Renter Payment Responsibility -  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California Realtor - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com

Home Owner Payment Responsibility  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California Realtor - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com

 

4. Home inspections and contingencies . When looking for your home be very aware of the detail and take your time. Don’t let fancy new granite and kitchen appliances fool you. Always request a full home inspection (which you have to pay for). You many find a home which looks great on the outside, but on in inside it has many problems. Your professional home inspection will find all possible areas you need to be aware of before making the final offer.

Contingency clauses also offer a form of protection. “A mortgage financing contingency clause protects you if, say, you lose your job and the loan falls through or the appraisal price comes in over the purchase price. Should one of these events occur, the buyer gets back the money he used to secure the property. Without the clause, he or she can lose that money and still be obligated to buy the house,

5. Be Aware of the Neighborhood – Some first-time home buyers are naive. Overly optimistic, they think nothing could possible go wrong. If a home has a few problems, they view them as easy fixes and are unrealistic when it comes to the cost and time it takes to fix up the home. Some naive buyers will move to a neighborhood on the wrong side of town, forgetting that you can fix up a house, but you can’t change your neighborhood or location without moving.

Paranoid buys are sometimes difficult to work with. They may not believe the price is an accurate assessment of the house’s market value. They’ll submit low-ball offers and then show frustration when they are consistently rejected. Paranoid buyers don’t trust real-estate agents, and may even try to buy their home without an agent, which is generally an unwise choice.

In Conclusion, Plan your Monthly Payment, and be aware when making an offer and choosing your home. As a Realtor I always give my opinion to my clients looking to buy a home and from time to time I do have to disagree with them, but that is part of my job since I look out for my clients and their investment.

 

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Keller Williams OC Coastal Realty
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714-388-3771. Fax
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🏡How Much Is Your Neighbors Home Selling For?

How Much is your Neighbors Home Selling for - Irvine Active Homes -  - Christina Khandan -  Irvine California Realtor - www.IrvineHomeBlog.com

Irvine Active Homes
– Christina Khandan – Irvine California Realtor – http://www.IrvineHomeBlog.com

Knowing what your Neighbor is selling their home can help you make some decisions about your own Real Estate

Find out:

How Much Is Your Neighbors Home Selling For:
http://irvinehomeblog.com/reports-analysis/

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