Buyer Resources

 

Here you’ll find useful information on credit scores, interest rates, finding the right mortgage, homeowner insurance coverage, savvy home-scouting, writing a strong offer, and what’s necessary for a successful escrow process.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a U.S. governmental agency, born out of the 2008 financial crisis, that sets mortgage lending standards among other things, is a great start for anyone looking to buy a home.  Get started here on understanding the home-buying process like a pro!

Financing Your Home

FICO – learn about scores from the creator of the most-used credit scoring system.

AnnualCreditReport.com – you’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit bureaus; call toll free (877)322-8228 to order the report.

Check out what each of the three credit-reporting agencies has on you:  Experian; Transunion; Equifax.

HSH – a highly reputable and frequently-quoted company focusing on mortgage rates.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – have your questions about mortgages answered here.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – “Know Before You Owe” by reviewing these two main mortgage disclosure documents, the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.(FDIC) – Looking For The Best Mortgage

CA Housing Finance Agency(CalHFA) – sales price limit in LA county is $600,000.

Fannie Mae – HomeReady homeownership program.

Freddie Mac – Home Possible homeownership program.

Mortgage Bankers Association – a slew of consumer tools here.

Realtor.com – figure out what your monthly payment will be, including the property tax and insurance, with this mortgage calculator.

On property taxes, an excellent starting point is the LA County Assessor’s Message To Homeowners while another top resource is the LA County Property Tax Portal.

Insurance Information Institute – excellent primer on deciphering the various types of insurance coverage.

CA Earthquake Authority – the only place to buy earthquake insurance in California.

IRS – here’s a withholding tax calculator to help you factor in the mortgage interest deduction on your new mortgage and determine by how much you can reduce your tax withholdings on your paycheck.

 

Searching For Homes

You can begin your home search straight away on this website!  Also, there is the Realtor.com website that contains every single property listing entered into any MLS throughout the country.

Center For CA Homeowner Association Law – for those buying into a common interest development(CID), more commonly known as a townhome or condo.

 

Writing An Offer

At this juncture, you’ve seen enough homes to know what you like and don’t like, reconcile what you can and cannot live without, and, finally, to sit down and put pen to paper.  We’ll review the main legal document – Residential Purchase Agreement – and several other critical documents that virtually every California Realtor utilizes in real property transactions.

 

Closing Escrow

Congratulation, your offered has been accepted!  Now is the time to get to know working condition of the house, get formal loan approval and funding, and sort through all the property disclosures and reports that make up the legal transfer of real property in California.  I’ll provide you with a chart highlighting the timeframes and deadlines of all the main activities each party will undertake as well as a calendar showing these activities.

Also, you’ll need to notify a number of governmental agencies of your new address. Here is a link for your change of address.

 

Post Escrow

Once escrow closes and title to the property transfers to your name, I strongly suggest placing the property in a trust.  Don’t hesitate to contact me a list of highly-reputable local lawyers specializing in that field.  I would also suggest creating a will if you haven’t done so already.  If you’re situation is pretty straightforward and the cost of a trust and estate planning attorney has yet to make it in the budget, here’s a simple form from the California State Bar that will prove valid in a court of law.

 

 

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