michael No Comments

Happy New Year

First and foremost, a happy and healthy new year to everyone!!  Already seems like this is old news!!  Speaking of news, today’s  labor report was right down the middle of the road…not too hot, not too cold.   Since the election of Donald Trump, there has been a divergence between the stock and bond markets.  Equity prices have zoomed upward with the 20,000 Dow Jones Industrial Average in its sights, while the bond market has seen rates increase by over 60 basis points.  The equity markets have priced in to the equation a rosier economic picture with the combination of lower taxes and less regulation which will lead to better corporate earnings and the subsequent higher stock market.  The flip side has seen interest rates spike to levels not seen in the past few years because of the perceived notion that economic policy is changing from a monetary perspective to a fiscal one.  This in turn will create a landscape where the Federal Reserve will have less ability to shape policy and have to react more to the policies implemented by the new Trump administration.  What all of this means, remains to be seen…..
In regard to the mortgage arena, rates have risen dramatically over the past two months.  30 year fixed rate loans that were in the low to mid 3% range, have now risen to the low 4% area.  While trying to keep this in a 20-30 year perspective, rates are still historically low, but we all get spoiled and want the rates to stay well below any historic average.  The real estate market has stayed extremely buoyant and prices remain at elevated levels at all price points.  This can be said for the rental market as well.  Low inventory and the relative low mortgage rates are still the driving factor for this demand.  In addition, foreign investment remains strong.  On the commercial front, activity remains robust with many clients seeking to purchase properties for their own use versus paying rent to a landlord.
The mortgage market still has rigid underwriting guidelines, but we have a number of non-traditional loan options offered by a number of institutions that mirror prime/traditional pricing.  Some of the highlights are using only 1 year of tax returns versus the traditional 2 years, 12 month’s bank statements in lieu of tax returns & the use of liquid assets as a source of income.  All of these can make or break being able to obtain financing.  In addition, a number of our sources allow for recent short sales or foreclosures.  No need to wait four to seven years to purchase a new home.  Needless to say, we of course have a complete menu of traditional mortgage options, including interest only loans & a wide variety of investment property loan options.
We all look forward to a healthy & prosperous 2017 for each and every one of us!!  Please feel free to reach out to us to discuss any real estate situation.  We welcome your contact.
Warm regards,
Gloria Shulman and Curtis Cohen
michael No Comments

Our Latest Corespondence

Good Morning ,
Just reaching out….we haven’t spoken in a bit and hope all is well with you and yours. As we all know, rates have moved up, but the purchase volume appears to be holding across all price points in our Southern California. With that said, if a property was priced unrealistically based upon comparables, condition of the property etc, the price will have to probably be reduced before it sells. Regarding refinances, even though the rates have definitely moved up, they are still very appealing and can make economic sense based on projected holding period for the property, cash out for remodeling instead of using liquidity, and so many other life events that may need cash infusion. An important overview is that real estate has many of the attributes of institutional savings. There is increasing “talk” about a stronger economy with inflationary pressure, which in most cases extrapolates to hedging one’s finances by buying hard assets such as real estate and investment properties, obviously no one knows… stay tuned.
Wishing you and yours Happy Holidays and a wonderful 2017 full of joy and happiness.
Personal Regards,
Gloria & Curtis
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michael No Comments

Important Purchase Tips

A few general concepts to help you prevail with your potential offer.  Please contact us and we will strategize together how to submit an offer as it relates to financing, based on our extensive experiences. The market is requiring aggressive posturing with multiple offers being so frequently at play and the current competition being so intense.

Important concepts to consider for purchases:

  • Loan package must be fully ready to issue disclosures when there is finally an open escrow.
  • 30 day closes are possible with many transactions.
  • We can issue DU (direct underwriting) approval upfront for many programs (which means you are officially approved for the loan).
  • Another common technique is to cut an appraisal contingency down to 5 days.
  • Never waive an inspection contingency.
  • With condos, the listing agent should provide contact HOA phone numbers at the opening of escrow (Naturally your agent would have vetted the property pre your offer).

A few random thoughts to help you get to the escrow level:

  • Waiving all conditions ASAP.
  • Release of the deposit– if money is needed by the seller and you are approved.
  • Offer a 30 day lease back if the seller does not have a new property for the relocation.

These are just a few important thoughts to proceed with a successful purchase.

michael No Comments

November 17th Market Update

The language at the Fed meeting this morning references improvements across the board in the overall economy, although the comment was made ‘they’ could be more robust. The takeaway factor was the expectaion of inflation. Historically this inflation language triggers many to buy real estate as a hedge.

Extreme Market volatility with the bond markets— which is the driver with interest rates. No one expected rates to be jumping the way we are experiencing but the election triggered this chaos. Long term, the issue is the Fed’s decision with interest rates. In reality, the feeling is that one rate hike should be enough to return the policy to neutral and December seems to be the target. It is proposed that we will see medium term growth in the economy due to Trump’s infrastructure spending…

Stay tuned!

November 17, 2016