WeHo

WeHo

West Hollywood offers a gorgeous living experience

West Hollywood (WeHo) offers a unique living experience with a variety of famous restaurants and shops as well as eccentric nightlife. The rich history of WeHo characterizes it as one of the best places to live in the Los Angeles Area.

Chateau Marmont

Chateau Marmont

The suburban community has a population of over 34,000 people located in Los Angeles and is nearby cities like Beverly Hills, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, Westwood, and Santa Monica.

WeHo

Sunset Blvd. in WeHo

With household sale prices increasing by 3.8 percent compared to the last quarter, and 17.6 percent compared to last year, now is the time to buy. Interest rates are lower than ever, and home prices are starting to rise. The number of home sales is up 6.6 percent. The average listing price for homes for sale  was over $1.1 million for the last week of October. Now is the best time to lock in those interest rates and invest in a WeHo home.

West Hollywood

WeHo offers the best WalkScore in all of California based on its walkability. This is perfect for those of you looking to have a fun night out and who want to leave the car behind or for those of you who love the city life.  With Santa Monica Boulevard, the Sunset Strip, Melrose Avenue and Beverly Boulevard, there is ample supply of art, dining, and nightlife available.

Distinct architecture, famous music venues, elaborate hotels, and a number of celebrity hangouts make WeHo a notable area.

Sunset Plaza

Sunset Plaza

WeHo offers lots of things to do and is a great place to live if you seek entertainment. Comedy clubs like the Laugh Factory can be found throughout the area. The epicenter for designer showrooms and unusual exhibits can be found at the Pacific Design Center. And if that isn’t enough of a wow factor, historic celebrity mansions can be found in the area.

Pacific Design Center

New rules for jumbo loans, qualified residential mortgages could make homebuying more costly in 2014

On Jan. 1, 2014, a new provision in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act goes into effect. The “qualified residential mortgage,” or QRM, may have far-reaching effects that will lessen the number of people who ultimately can obtain home loans.

Most agents and brokers have no idea what QRM is or how it will impact their businesses. Briefly, QRM was designed to set the bar for residential mortgages and to minimize the risk that borrowers may default. It requires that debt ratios be limited to 43 percent and loan fees limited to 3 percent, and interest-only loans and negative amortization are not allowed in most cases.

The Dodd-Frank bill also requires the lender to retain 5 percent of any mortgages they make. In other words, if they make a $100,000 loan they must retain $5,000 to secure the loan. QRM loans are exempt from the risk retention rules. This means that the lender can sell the loan on the secondary market without having to retain the 5 percent. The effect of these provisions is already being felt in the lending industry. Citibank has restricted its lending to those areas where it has a banking presence. Compliance departments have tripled in size at many large lenders. Community banks and credit unions are being choked by the regulations and often lack the resources to meet the new compliance requirements.

“Community banks and credit unions have historically had a much lower default rate as compared with other lenders. The reason is that they know their customers,” said Mark Bigelow, national sales manager at Towne Mortgage Co. and AmeriCU Mortgage. “Community bank loans have often been based on a handshake. In terms of credit union loans, people feel they are hurting themselves and other members if they default.”

Bigelow went on to explain what makes the Jan. 1, 2014, provisions so difficult for lenders: “In the past, loans have been turned down primarily due to credit issues. For the first time in history, lending decisions may be made based upon compliance issues rather than just credit issues.” Here’s why: Imagine that you made a mistake on a purchase agreement. The buyer and seller want to change the agreement to correct the mistake, except the law prohibits you from doing so.

If a lender makes a mistake with any part of the compliance, here’s what happens:

1. The lender now has to pay all of the borrower’s closing costs.

2. Even if the mortgage agent made the mistake, the mortgage agent must still be paid.

3. The lender cannot deduct any costs or losses resulting from the mistake.

4. The lender still has to close the loan.

 

These provisions will be particularly difficult for online mortgage sites such as LendingTree, Quicken and Zillow. In addition to the issues cited above, jumbo loans currently fall outside the QRM provisions. This creates tremendous uncertainty as to what will be required of lenders who want to sell jumbo loans on the secondary market. The result will most likely be that be even fewer jumbo loans will be available.

What this means for agents, brokers and their clients:

1. There will be fewer loan choices as community banks and credit unions are squeezed out of the market making it even harder for many borrowers to qualify.

2. The loan process will also probably take longer due to the increased compliance.

3. It will probably be much more difficult and costly to obtain a loan in the future.

 

Lenders generally want to issue loans that meet QRM criteria. It gives them an exception to a rule they find troubling. It allows them to sell a higher percentage of their mortgages into the secondary market, thereby reducing their long-term risks. As a result, the majority of lenders will impose these guidelines upon their customers. These rules will essentially set the bar for mortgage lending standards in the U.S. Borrowers who fail to meet these criteria will have a harder time finding a loan compared to borrowers who do meet the criteria. They might end up paying a higher interest rate as well. Lenders claim that risk retention increases their operating costs, so they will likely charge more for loans that are subject to risk retention. Financial analysts from J.P. Morgan Securities have estimated that borrowers might pay up to three percentage points more for loans that are subject to risk retention (i.e., loans that don’t meet the definition of a qualified residential mortgage). So here’s the bottom line: Encourage anyone who is on the fence about selling or buying to do so before the end of the year. Otherwise, they may be caught up in maelstrom of new regulations that can sink their sale and that might also sink the real estate recovery.

Source: Inman News

 

Great West Hollywood Starter Condo for Sale!

705 WESTMOUNT DR #206, WEST HOLLYWOOD ,CA   90069

Asking price $425,000

Stats:

2 Bedrooms

2 Bathrooms

HOA dues: $285.59

Walking distance to Shopping, Restaurants,  Neighborhood favorites like Urth Cafe, The Belmont, Fig & Olive, Cycle House, 24 Hour Fitness, The Abbey, Pavilions Market, etc.

Marketing Description:

Designer District Pied a Terre in the Heart of West Hollywood. This Two Bedroom Unit Features Orthogonal Spaces with Rough Hewn Wood Flooring in the Main Living Area. Chef’s Kitchen with Stainless Steel Appliances and Butcher-Block Counter Tops. Intimate Bathrooms with Slate Spa Style Showers and Architectural Vanity Areas. Spacious Master with Generous European Style Built-In Wardrobes. This Turnkey Property awaits your most Discerning Buyer.

Please contact me for more information or for other great deals in the area!  (310)402-8181 or jkryukova@gmail.com

Westmount 2 Westmount 3 Westmount

How to Negotiate with Sellers

Buying a home is one of the most important purchases most people will make. In order to make the right decision the first time, potential buyers need to be prepared. Consider the following before starting negotiations:

  • Be prepared Research the housing market in the target area. Once you have information about the general area, focus on the particular property and seller. Look for answers to questions such as:
    1. Why is the homeowner selling? (If they’re moving because they find the area undesirable, you might want to consider this issue.)
    2. How long has the home been on the market? (If it has been on the market for a long time, perhaps there are negative facts about the property that you need to know.)
    3. How much did the seller pay for the home compared to the current asking price? (If the seller paid more, find out why. Was it a general real estate trend, or did property values in that particular neighborhood go down?)
    4. What is the seller’s time frame for selling and moving? Does it fit within your needs?
    5. Are there any defects in the home or problems with the surrounding neighborhood? (For example, is the roof so old that it will likely leak during the next storm? Is there a new construction project in the area that will lead to major traffic congestion?)

As the potential buyer, you want the advantage. While you want answers to all your questions to the seller, reveal very little about your circumstances.

Do not give the seller personal information such as your income, the maximum you are able to pay for a down payment or the home, or when you want to move.

Make sure that your agent knows not to reveal any such information to the seller or his/her agent.

Also, do not let the seller see how much you want the property. If you appear desperate or overly enthusiastic, the seller then has the stronger bargaining position. When meeting with the seller or listing agent, keep your emotions in check.

  • Establish a Timeline Find out if the seller needs to have the sale closed sooner rather than later. If the seller is feeling pressured to sell, use that to your advantage in negotiating. Even if you, the buyer, are the one with the deadline for purchasing a home, don’t let yourself be rushed into making concessions or a purchase you may regret later.

Actress Halle Berry aims to sell Hollywood Hills West house!

Halle Berry’s Hollywood Hills West home is being shopped as a pocket listing for $15 million. It was the site of a recent altercation between her ex-boyfriend and her fiance.

Actress Halle Berry is trying to sell her Hollywood Hills West house. The home’s motor court was the site of a Thanksgiving Day altercation between her former boyfriend Gabriel Aubry and actor Olivier Martinez that landed both men in the hospital.

The home is being shopped off the Multiple Listing Service as a pocket listing for $15 million, area real estate agents confirmed.

Halle bought the house in 2005 from former “Malcolm in the Middle” star Frankie Muniz for nearly $6 million, according to Times archives. The five-bedroom house has 5,900 square feet of living space and sits on more than a half acre with a 1,400-square-foot guest house, a swimming pool and spa.

She and Aubry are in the midst of a heated custody battle.

Berry, 46, has starred in the “X-Men” movies and “Die Another Day” (2002). The former model starred this year in the film “Dark Tide.”

 

Source: LA Times

Top Reasons to Opt for Seller Financing!

Seller Financing

Top Reasons to Opt for Seller Financing

Seller Financing has benefits for both the buyer and the seller

A recent experience of mine reminded me of the importance of seller financing. The son of a longtime friend of mine recently caught me at a Friday night high-school game and informed me he and his wife had turned down an older home in the neighborhood they always wanted, for a new home in a subdivision.

They also declined the possibility of no-cost seller financing from the owner of the older home because the builder offered a slightly lower rate on the new home.

“We just felt like we wouldn’t have to do anything on the home for years,” Patrick said. “We couldn’t afford any expensive surprises.”

While I disagreed with him on both topics, I kept my opinions to myself because he had already made his decision and was looking forward to moving into his new home. Here’s why I would have chosen differently.

First and foremost, you can always repair or remodel a home, but you can never single-handedly fix a neighborhood. If you know the schools, churches and streets that are important to you, it’s usually best to buy where you have done your primary research. And, new homeowners often underestimate upkeep.

But just as important are the credit and cash needed to get a loan today. Lenders are being more cautious and are demanding more skin in the game.

Recently, Fair Isaac Co., the developer of FICO scores, revealed that 78.5 percent of all consumers have scores that fall between 300 and 749. The FICO score ranges from 300 to 850. So only about one in five American have a FICO score of 750 or higher.

Ellie Mae Inc., a provider of mortgage origination software to lenders, reports that borrowers approved for mortgages in September had an average FICO score of 750. What message does that send to prospective home buyers?

Besides high credit scores, borrowers are coming in with higher down payments to satisfy lender requirements. According to Ellie Mae, home buyers who used a Fannie or Freddie loan had, on average, a 21 percent down payment. Homeowners who refinanced had average equity in their homes of 30 percent.

Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist, recently said he thought that loan standards will eventually ease as banks reduce some extra risk-based fees that they have added to benchmark quotes since the mortgage meltdown.

But is there a viable plan B? What if you didn’t have to go to a lender for a home loan?

Seller financing is an underestimated benefit not only because of today’s increased lender scrutiny, but also because the buyer dodges most all the fees associated with the loan. For example, in Patrick’s case, he decided on a 3.5 percent loan from a lender rather than a 4 percent loan from the homeowner.

Let’s say the total costs of a $200,000 loan come to 2 percent of the loan amount, or $4,000. The monthly difference between a 3.5 percent loan and 4 percent loan is approximately $57 a month. Not only would Patrick have to borrow more or come out of pocket with the extra funds (in addition to the down payment needed on the house), but he would also need more than seven years to make up the monthly difference.

While many owners make “cash-out, conventional” financing a requirement when selling a home, others are more than willing to negotiate price and terms. Homes are selling quickly in many neighborhoods, but others continue to sit. It’s those owners who can be “all ears” if it means closing a deal and moving on with their lives.

And, some sellers, particularly seniors with no high-rate place to park their cash, are not opposed to accepting a healthy down payment and “carrying the paper” on their real estate as long as they are guaranteed 4 percent interest on their money. In most cases, it’s difficult to get that rate in non-risk accounts.

Buyers and sellers can build in safety features to make carrying the paper palatable for both sides. If you are a buyer, there’s no harm in asking. You could save time, anxiety and a lot of cash — an inexpensive surprise.

If you’re looking to buy, lease, or lease – please contact me at 310.402.8181 or jkryukova@gmail.com

Click here to visit my website

Source: Inman news

Housing industry recovering faster than many economists expected!

Housing is snapping back faster than many economists had expected, with home builders stepping up production of new homes nationally and fresh foreclosures in California falling to their lowest level since the early days of the bust.

Demand for housing has surged as interest rates have plummeted and home prices in many markets appear to have bottomed, particularly in states such as California where inventories of foreclosures and other lower-priced homes have sunk. The turnaround in prices and record-low supply of newly built homes also are luring builders back after six years of pain.

“The numbers are strong in September, and that is definitely a positive sign,” said Celia Chen, a housing economist with Moody’s Analytics. “It is confirmation that housing is lifting off the bottom.”

Residential construction starts rose 15% nationally last month from August to their highest annual rate in more than four years. A separate report showed that the number of troubled California borrowers entering foreclosure hit its lowest level in the third quarter since the dawning of the mortgage meltdown.

If the gains in housing hold, they could give consumer confidence a boost and help the broader economy recover. Housing has played an important part in lifting the nation out of past downturns but was hampered this time by the severity of the Great Recession and the huge number of vacant and foreclosed homes dragging down the market for years.

Now rising prices are helping homeowners in properties that for several years have been underwater, in which the house wouldn’t bring enough in a sale to pay off the mortgage. Rising values could play a role in lifting household finances if families feel more secure about the direction of the economy.

Any positive economic news presumably would be a boost for President Obama‘s reelection campaign, though both he and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have largely avoided a detailed debate on housing policy. Many on the left have said that Obama’s tepid and patchwork response to the housing downturn resulted in a slower recovery while the right has decried his policies as interventionist failures.

Michael D. Larson, a housing and interest rate analyst for Weiss Research, said the Federal Reserve‘s policies to keep mortgage interest rates low and Obama’s foreclosure prevention efforts have played some role in the recovery — but the improvements can mostly be attributed to natural market dynamics.

“It is certainly encouraging; housing has been this lead anchor around the economy’s neck,” he said. But “most of this is just the passage of time. I think if the Fed or the government had done absolutely nothing … we still would have seen some demand return.”

Several recent trends have underscored improvement in housing. Nationally, home builder stocks are up, prices have begun a modest recovery, and sales of newly built and previously owned homes have risen.

The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that construction of houses and apartment buildings rose in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000, marking the third straight month of improvement. The figures surpassed economists’ expectations of about a 770,000 annual rate.

September had the best monthly performance since July 2008, when housing starts were on an annual pace of 923,000. Compared with September 2011, new housing starts jumped 34.8%, the Commerce Department said.

Last month’s growth was “surprisingly strong,” said David Crowe, chief economist at the National Assn. of Home Builders. “As consumer confidence rises and jobs return, more local markets and more consumers will join the buyer market, and I expect housing construction to continue a modest but fairly steady rise throughout 2013 and into 2014.”

The annual rate of new home groundbreaking still is far below the peak of more than 2.2 million units reached in early 2006 during the housing bubble. But the pace has picked up dramatically from the low of 478,000 in April 2009, and is up sharply from the 706,000 annual rate in May. Building permits for private housing construction, a sign of future activity, also jumped in September, up 11.6% from August and 45.1% from a year earlier. The annual rate in September was 894,000 building permits.

Patrick Newport, an economist with IHS Global Insight, said the increases were likely due to gains in household growth after years of people doubling or tripling up to wait out the worst of the downturn.

“What’s kicking in right now is simply the demographics,” Newport said. “We have been building at too low a rate for four years, and so demand has been suppressed because of the recession, and now it is starting to kick in.”

On the other side of the housing pipeline, the shortage of cheaply priced homes in California appears poised to continue. The number of Californians entering foreclosure dropped in the third quarter to its lowest level since early 2007, according to a report from real estate firm DataQuick. Foreclosure filings have fallen as banks work toward completing more loan modifications and short sales. An improving economy and rising prices have also helped.

“Prices in most areas today are up significantly from their low point in early 2009,” said John Walsh, president of DataQuick. “Additionally, during the past year, we’ve seen short sales overtake the foreclosure process as the procedure of choice to deal with homeowner distress.”

Notices of default fell 10.2% from the prior quarter and 31.2% from the same period last year, DataQuick reported. A total of 49,026 notices of default — the first stage of foreclosure in California — were filed on homes in the Golden State last quarter.

That was the lowest number since the first quarter of 2007, and a 63% decline from the first quarter of 2009, when notice of default filings peaked in the state.

The number of homes lost to foreclosure rose 5% from the prior quarter and dropped 41% from a year earlier. A total of 22,949 homes were lost to foreclosure last quarter.

Source: LA Times

3 Tax Benefits of Owning Los Angeles Real Estate

Taxes

While there are many advantages to owning Los Angeles real estate, the tax benefits are some of the most important to consider. For decades, the Federal Government and the state of California have incentivized homeownership through tax benefits that are not available to renters. These benefits not only help to reduce the home ownership costs, but also the costs of buying and selling a home. Below are a few tips to help you get a better understanding of real estate and the many tax benefits that come with owning a home.

It’s important to note, however, that in order for a homeowner to take full advantage of most benefits, they must itemize their taxes.

1) Mortgage Interest Deduction

The mortgage interest deduction (MID) is easily one of the best tax benefits available to homeowners. After searching, finding, and purchasing one of the many Los Angeles homes for sale, a new homeowner is able to deduct all the interest paid on their mortgage payments. For the first few years of the loan, interest tends to be the largest component of the mortgage payment. Because of this, the MID is a very beneficial tax advantage to homeowners.

2) Property Tax Deduction

For income tax purposes, it’s possible to fully deduct the real estate property taxes paid on a first home. By taking advantage of these property tax deductions, a homeowner can effectively reduce their total tax burden. To learn more, check out Schedule A (Form 1040), line 6.

3) Capital Gains Exclusion
When considering Los Angeles homes for sale, it’s important for a buyer to develop a long-term plan that includes the capital gains exclusion. So long as a homeowner has lived in their home for two of the last five years, they can take advantage of the exclusion. Individuals can exclude up to $250,000, whereas couples can exclude up to $500,000. It’s possible to claim the exclusion once every 2 years.

Ultimately, there are a ton of tax advantages and benefits available to homeowners — the tricky part is finding them. For those who wish to learn more about these tax advantages and others, seek out a certified public accountant (CPA) or tax attorney to assess all the available options.

If you’re looking to buy, sell, or lease property in Los Angeles? If so, please contact me at (310)402-8181 or jkryukova@gmail.com.

To sign up for free, daily property emails, please go to my website and sign up: http://juliekproperties.com/free-listings-market-information/

Source: Yahoo! News

Hot Deal of the Week: Large lot, Pool, and tons of Charm in the heart of West Hollywood!

1246 N. Genesee Ave.  West Hollywood, CA 90046

Asking Price – $583,300

2bed/1bath with guesthouse including 1 bath

Lot size – 5,998 Sq. Ft

Zoning - WDR2

House needs some TLC and there is plenty of space to expand.  The lot itself is a dream, lush landscaping, full size beautiful pool, with potential to create a private, beautiful oasis in the heart of West Hollywood. Walk to Whole Foods Market, Sunset Strip, and easy access to Hollywood, Downtown, the Valley, and the Westside.  There is a ton of potential to fix this property, while maintaining its charm or possibly tearing it down to built apartments.   If building is too much, then consider a light remodel and moving right in or renting the property for income. Consistently renting for $4,000 – $3,800 for month in it’s current condition.  This property is a foreclosure.

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Please contact me for showings and more information.

www.juliekproperties.com 

Listing courtesy of  Ed H. Park DRE 00929035

Large lot with tons of potential to expand and improve!

Home Ownership Matters

Home ownership has a significant impact on net worth, educational achievement, civic participation, health, and overall quality of life. And, home ownership helps create jobs—lots of them—right here at home.

Home Ownership matters…to people, to communities, and to America. Why?

  • For every two homes sold, one job is created in the U.S.
  • Each purchase generates as much as $60,000 in economic activity over time.

Buy a home or investment property: Call Today 310.402.8181

 

We work with buyers, sellers, investors, and those looking to lease in most of Los Angeles including: Hollywood Hills, West Hollywood, Hollywood, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, North Hollywood, Los Feliz, Silverlake, Beachwood Canyon area, all the way to Santa Monica and Venice! www.juliekrproperties.com