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Let’s get it done agents!

We blinked and poof… Another summer is coming to an end. Luckily, living in Southern California means that we get to enjoy summer much longer compared to the rest of the Country. We’ve had a busy summer here at CenTek developing two new programs CenTek Keys to Closing Deals and CenTek Millennial Solutions. As you know, you can count on us at CenTek to run “what-if” scenarios with you or your clients Monday- Friday from 7 AM- 7 PM. We are also available to return calls over the weekend.

Contact us today and we will work with you and your client to fine-tune a game plan. CenTek works together with you and your client as a team throughout the financial process, providing input when requested. We have many strategies where we can help you and your clients strengthen an offer to its fullest potential.

Our team maintains long standing relationships with a vast network of funding sources to gain unparalleled access to the most aggressive real estate financing options and solutions on the market. We utilize our technical knowledge and our decades worth of professional connections to help you and your clients prevail with an offer and close the deal.

Careful preparation and presentation of documentation are some of our CenTek Keys to Closing Deals. In this program, we can issue a detailed up-front loan approval so your clients are prepared to waive loan contingencies with their offer, when appropriate. If needed, we will also work closely with your client to help them raise their credit score. We have a very sophisticated computer modeling program that is very effective.

Another important aspect of this program is regarding the appraisal contingency addressed in your client’s offer. As we all know, appraisal contingencies can sometimes be unrealistically subjective based on the appraiser inspecting the property. Both selling and listing agents should be aware of any comparables the appraiser would have access to. We have noticed that it is very important to be familiar with comparables, especially if they could impact the appraised value of your client’s purchase.

CenTek Millennial Solutions is our newest program that specializes in helping first-time homebuyers succeed. Because of the high demand for homes, multiple bids on a single home are becoming the norm. Despite the fact that some Millennials may not be able to make a down payment by themselves, there are many other creative options for parents, grandparents, or other relatives to help their millennial prevail with their offer. We encourage you to follow us on LinkedIn for CenTek Millennial Solutions weekly blog post updates.

Feel free to pass any of this information along. Stay Tuned for more!

Gloria Shulman, Curtis Cohen, and all of us at CenTek

michael No Comments

Why own a home?

By: Shoshana R. Cohen

Simply put, owning a home is a guaranteed roof over your head. Historically, homeownership has been used as a vehicle to create long-term wealth because national home values tend to appreciate at a rate of 3.5% per year. Please note that this rate is extremely regional and in Southern California an 6.3% increase is more typical. Additionally, there are also instances which the cost of ownership can be less than renting.

By owning your own home, you can also experience personal freedom by being able to redecorate, remodel, or make improvements as they see fit. There are fewer rules that you must abide by, including restrictions on pets, children, or noise levels.

More importantly, buying a home and taking out a mortgage creates leverage, which can be a tool for wealth accumulation. Homeownership is also another way for you to diversify your investments. Portfolio diversification to any portfolio is crucial, regardless of how much money you have in the market. Do not get swayed by other “investments”, such as jewelry or artwork, as these items are extremely subjective and it is highly unusual to make money off of them.

Reason #1: Wealth Accumulation

There is no debt-rich quick scheme. Therefore, you may want to buy a property that fits your needs and economic goals. Homes are unique investments because they usually appreciate over the course of time, as opposed to other investments that immediately depreciate like cars. Yes, we did have a significant economic downturn in the 2008. However, a key to accumulating long-term wealth through a home is the idea that you should hold onto the property. As you pay your monthly mortgage payments, you build equity in your home. This is a form of “forced savings”, which can be important when you pay down the balance by a substantial amount.

Reason #2: Tax advantages based on current federal tax laws

There are also tax advantages associated with buying a home taking out a mortgage. Property taxes can be itemized for tax deductions from your federal tax and some state taxes. A mortgage payment is composed of both principal and interest, where the interest is tax deductible up to $1 M mortgage debt and is dependent on the tax bracket you are in. Tax deductions are especially important in the beginning years of the mortgage when interest represents the bulk of each monthly mortgage payment.

Reason #3 Elimination of Landlord

When you rent a home, you do not own any tangible property and you are also subject to your landlord increasing your rent or selling to another owner who then wants occupancy. While landlords can raise monthly rent payments by a certain percentage each year, mortgage payments can be locked in. However, as a new homeowner, you must be aware of the responsibilities that come with homeownership, such as an increase in utility bills and in maintenance obligations. You should not jeopardize their major source of income when performing upkeep. It is important for new homeowners to strike a balance between sweat equity and outsourcing their homeownership responsibilities.

If you are a First-Time or Experienced Homebuyer, feel free to contact CenTek Capital Group at 310–275–3202 to take advantage of any of our gratis mortgage services. We are available on M-F from 7:00 AM- 7:00 PM to run what-if scenarios. We also return calls on the weekends.

We know that breaking into the housing market alone can be rigorous and time-consuming. With 30+ years of experience, CenTek Capital Group has funded every type of loan, issuing a detailed up-front loan approval for many programs and closing purchase transactions in about 25 days. CenTek acts as your partner throughout the financial process, guiding our clients through mortgages and more. Our team maintains long standing relationships with a vast network of funding sources to gain unparalleled access to the most aggressive real estate financing options and solutions on the market. Ultimately, we utilize our technical knowledge in conjunction with our decades worth of professional connections to help clients and their agents prevail with their offer and close the deal.

michael No Comments

3 Ways Parents, Grandparents, or Other Family Members can Help Millennials Prepare for Homeownership

By: Shoshana R. Cohen

The overall U.S. population is expected to expand from 319 million in the year 2014 to approximately 360 million by 2030. Both healthcare improvements and expansions in higher education have impacted the housing market. There is a higher demand for homes as more seniors are living longer and there is also an increasing amount of young adults seeking higher education. Many millennials who were once hesitant to buy homes because of student loan debt or who wanted career location flexibility are now entering the market in their late twenties and early thirties more financially established than traditional first-time homebuyers.

Because of the high demand for homes, multiple bids on a single home are becoming the norm. Thus, to succeed in today’s aggressive market, it is imperative that both first-time and experienced homebuyers, are prepared to present an offer with minimal or no contingencies as soon as possible. Despite the fact that some Millennials may not be able to make a down payment by themselves, there are many other creative options for parents, grandparents, or other relatives to help their millennial prevail with their offer.

Option #1: Work with your Millennial to maximize their credit score to its fullest potential

One’s credit score is both multi-layered and very subjective based upon one’s spending and payment history. With proper support, there are many strategies for helping your Millennial repositioning their credit score. Firstly, it is not unusual for parents to affect their child’s credit score, if the child is still listed on the account. While these outstanding debts might not impact the parent’s credit score, they have more weight on the child, as their credit history is usually shorter.

Additionally, if your Millennial does not regularly use credit cards, encourage them to get cards and establish an active history. Department store credit cards and gas station credit cards are readily available. Make sure to activate them and do not pay them until the first bill comes in.

Option #2: Include yourself in the mortgage as Non-Occupant Co-Borrower

The non-occupant co-borrower status is another opportunity in which parents and grandparents can help their Millennial. This is a situation when a non-occupant, such as a parent or grandparent, can use their income to help the borrower qualify for loan. There is no proportion needed to qualify. In this scenario, the financial strength ratios of both borrowers are blended to help the borrower qualify.

In this case, the Non-Occupant Co-Borrower’s obligations are countered with the Millennial’s checks and the co-borrower’s credit is not impaired. It is important for the Millennial to show taxes, even if they are at a college-part time job, and have some credit.

Option #3: Gifting Money

Not all families have the ability to give their Millennial a contribution. A gift is defined as something that is not to be repaid. With some programs, mortgage brokers can structure a payment plan into loans.

Consider making a financial arrangement from the approach of a business standpoint. Specifically, a family member might want to share in the eventual appreciation of the real estate as an investment concept. This is a tremendous avenue to explore as long the down payment is clearly documented. This could be a good way for parents or grandparents to help their Millennial who is early on their career path. Although gifts are not made to be repaid, Millennials may take it upon to themselves to help out their family members as their career develops.

If you are a Millennial First-Time Homebuyer or a parent, grandparent, or other relative looking to help their Millennial buy a home, feel free to contact CenTek Capital Group at 310–275–3202 to take advantage of any of our gratis mortgage services. We are available on M-F from 7:00 AM- 7:00 PM to run what-if scenarios. We also return calls on the weekends.

We know that breaking into the housing market alone can be rigorous and time-consuming for young professionals. With 30+ years of experience, CenTek Capital Group has funded every type of loan, issuing a detailed up-front loan approval for many programs and closing purchase transactions in about 25 days. CenTek acts as your partner throughout the financial process, guiding our millennial clients through mortgages and more. Our team maintains long standing relationships with a vast network of funding sources to gain unparalleled access to the most aggressive real estate financing options and solutions on the market. Ultimately, we utilize our technical knowledge in conjunction with our decades worth of professional connections to help clients and their agents prevail with their offer and close the deal.

michael No Comments

August Market Update

Hard to imagine, but summer is starting to wind down. We are hopeful that everyone is enjoying the warm summer days and cool summer nights that Los Angeles provides all of us. Might we add, Los Angeles is perhaps the best overall city in the world!! Speaking of the world, pretty scary place right now. The on-going rhetoric battle between the United States and North Korea is needless to say a little unnerving. Hopeful that cooler heads prevail and a dialogue that leads to a more muted outcome occurs. Needless to say, the alternative is not a good one…..Difficult to fathom that humanity hasn’t evolved from this type of behavior..This geopolitical tension has kept rates at very attractive levels.

Our recommendation as it relates to the mortgage arena is to allow Centek to evaluate your existing mortgage profile and analyze if any alternative programs would be better suited for your overall financial strategy – reducing the amortization of your current loan, changing from an adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed rate or conversely changing from a fixed rate mortgage to an adjustable rate program. Mortgage rates have dipped below 4% and if rates continue down this path, our steadfast philosophy is to have your loan package in and ready to go in order to best take advantage of a further rate decline. If we start the process further down the line, we might not be able to catch the window of opportunity. Another segment of the financing arena which we are seeing more and more issue with is the student loan situation. Many of our younger clients are having difficulty with qualifying for their first home loan because of the student debt load. Our suggestion to many clients hast been, if possible, to assist with their children’s home purchase by either co-signing on the loan for them or refinancing their home’s in order to pull out cash to pay off the student loans. These are difficult decisions for all parties on a multitude of fronts, but certainly worth considering.

In regard to the real estate market, we feel the most prevalent issue is with the lack of inventory for sale. The lack of inventory is due to several interrelated factors that we have not recently experienced. The escalation of property prices in our California market (especially our SoCal & Bay areas),the vibrant California economy & the increases in the stock market. The combination of these and other factors including the demand from foreign investors, has limited the number of available properties on the market. The flip side to this equation is where is the seller of the property going to move? This point is a large reason as to why more properties are not for sale. Where does one move when they sell their home? This is a problem and a main reason why with elevated home values more properties are not on the market. The move up buyer is difficulty in selling their existing house and being able to afford the next level up in price….This by no means applies to everyone, but is a major point in the overall real estate market place.

Please feel free to contact us at 310 275 3202 to discuss your financing or overall real estate acquisition or sales needs. We can review and strategize with you. Stay tuned!!

Best Regards,

Gloria Shulman & Curtis Cohen

michael No Comments

4 Myths about Mortgages for Millennials

By: Shoshana R. Cohen

MYTH #1: It is very difficult for Millennials to become homeowners

FACT: Despite the fact that Millennials face many hurdles, such as student loan debt, underemployment, and high rental prices, many creative finance structuring options exist. Today, it is possible to close a loan for up to $636,100 with only 3.5% down payment, which is a manageable course of action. As with any financing, reserves are required. However, they are not pledged in any way.

MYTH #2: My branch at (insert personal bank here) offers loans. I should go there.

FACT: Unlike direct lenders who only represent the bank, brokers work with a variety of wholesale banks and specialized lending institutions. Make sure to prepare your paperwork in advance. This cannot be stressed enough as there are many variable layers in the homebuying procedure. If any bank deposits are out of the ordinary, provide that information too. Mortgage brokers know what questions to ask and work with you to fill in gaps. Their technical experience allows them to package the loan to highlight your strengths and minimize any issues.

MYTH #3: I don’t need to start working on my mortgage until I find a house I want to make an offer on.

FACT: In order to prevail in today’s aggressive market, it is imperative that homebuyers are prepared to present an offer with minimal contingencies as soon as possible. A pre-approval letter makes a prospective buyer seem more attractive because it shows that the buyer does not have an issue in obtaining a loan. You should arm yourself with a pre-approval letter customized to your needs, which can subsequently be tweaked later in the process depending on the home’s selling price. Pre-approval and approval letters are taking on a new dimension, as well-regarded pre-approval letters are even able to compete with all cash offers.

MYTH #4: It is hard to improve my credit score

FACT: With proper support, there are many strategies for repositioning your credit score, which is subjective based upon your spending and payment history. Mortgage brokers run the 3 Bureau Credit Report, which better reflects your credit score than any report you can run online. With this scoring system, brokers can do an analysis of credit cards that can be strategically paid down to certain amounts to pump up your overall credit score. Additionally, it is not unusual for trivial things, such as minor medical collections, to impact the credit score.

If you are a Millennial First-Time Homebuyer, feel free to contact CenTek Capital Group at 310-275-3202 to take advantage of any of our gratis mortgage services. We are available on M-F from 7:00 AM- 7:00 PM to run what-if scenarios. We also return calls on the weekends.

We know that breaking into the housing market alone can be rigorous and time-consuming for young professionals. With 30+ years of experience, CenTek Capital Group has funded every type of loan, issuing a detailed up-front loan approval for many programs and closing purchase transactions in about 25 days. CenTek acts as your partner throughout the financial process, guiding our millennial clients through mortgages and more. Our team maintains long standing relationships with a vast network of funding sources to gain unparalleled access to the most aggressive real estate financing options and solutions on the market. Ultimately, we utilize our technical knowledge in conjunction with our decades worth of professional connections to help clients and their agents prevail with their offer and close the deal.

michael No Comments

July Market Update

    Summer is upon us with all that it has to offer! Most of us would rather be experiencing summer activities rather then the reality of dealing with health, work, money , family etc.. That being said, the stock market continues to churn higher to record levels along with real estate values. Interest rates seem to have found a middle ground waiting for the Federal Reserve decision….What appears to be the driving force with the direction of rates is coming from Germany. Their rates have risen quite a bit and now seem to be leading the interest rate complex to higher levels. We will see what our Federal Reserve Board determines soon.

Our recommendation as it relates to the mortgage arena, is to allow Centek to evaluate your existing mortgage profile and analyze any programs that might be better suited for one’s overall financial strategy – reducing the amortization of one’s current loan, changing from an adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed rate or conversely changing from a fixed rate mortgage to an adjustable rate program. Mortgage rates have dipped below 4% and if rates continue down this path, our steadfast philosophy is to have one’s loan package in and ready to go in order to best take advantage of any further rate decline. If we start the process further down the line, we might not be able to catch the window of opportunity. Another segment of the financing arena which we are experiencing more and more issues with, is the student loan situation. Many of our younger clients are having difficulty qualifying for their first home loan because of the student debt load (even if deferred). Our suggestion to many clients is, if possible, to assist with their children’s home purchase by either co-signing on the loan for them or refinancing their home’s in order to pull out cash to pay off the student loans. These are difficult decisions for all parties on a multitude of fronts, but certainly worth considering.

In regard to the real estate market, we feel the most prevalent issue is with the lack of inventory for sale. This lack of inventory is due to several interrelated factors that we have not experienced in the recent past. The escalation of property prices in our California market (especially our So Cal & Bay areas),the vibrant California economy & the increases in the stock market in addition to the inherited wealth effect. The combination of these and other factors including the demand from foreign investors, has limited the number of available properties on the market. The flip side to this equation is where is the seller of the property is going to move to? This concept is a major reason as to why more properties are not for sale. Where does one move when they sell their home? This is a problem and a major reason why with elevated home values, more properties are not on the market. Many move up buyers have constraints in selling their existing house and being able to afford the next level up in price….This by no means applies to everyone, but is a major point in the overall real estate market place.

 

Please feel free to contact us to discuss your financing or overall real estate acquisition or sales needs. We can review and strategize with you. Stay tuned!

Best Regards,
Gloria Shulman & Curtis Cohen

michael No Comments

Spring Info

Want to share our latest information that went out to our CPA’s, Attorneys, and our extensive client base. In our complex real estate world it seems to take all of our joint efforts for a successful close. As you know we are experts with the most complex transactions and also welcome your “smallest vanilla type borrower” to the most sophisticated profile.
We know you are focused intensely on your clients’ tax filings and want to reach out and review some compelling trends and opportunities in our current real estate finance market that may be relevant to your clients’ real estate portfolio.

  • We are experts with Commercial/SBA/Apartment/Industrial/Construction transactions of all sizes and types. We offer complete acquisition and development packages.
  • Consider changing a 30 year fixed into a 15 or 20 year program up to $636,150.
  • Many equity lines are reaching their 10 year term and will roll into an annual ARM payment based on 15 year amortization. (This comes as a surprise to many clients due to the increased payment even though the terms were clearly stated in the documents).
  • Refinance’s combing existing 1st and existing equity lines into a new 1st trust deed. We are then providing an equity line at close for no charge (Which many clients seem to like just sitting if ever needed).
  • Review the time horizon for holding a property:
  • Why not consider a 5, 7 or 10 year fixed when less than a long term hold: various life circumstances such as family expansion, potential relocation, retirement, extensive remodeling are in the short term time horizon. Obviously the rate differential is a good saving mechanism.
  • Student Loans: The rates for financial aid for college loans seem to have a very broad range. Taking cash out of one’s property warrants consideration. $200K-$300K in student loans is no longer unusual.
  • Real Estate values are up in every sector and remodeling costs are significantly increasing due to demand.  Usually the most economic vehicle is to pull cash out from the property prior to work commencing.
  • Investments for long term financial planning are increasingly popular.  Initial cash flow is rarely possible but the overall objective is that these properties eventually turn into an excellent asset.  Caution, some clients are reaching out too much and are going into rural areas around the country without knowing what they are doing.  They’re motivated by cash flow but we all have “war stories”.
  • Non Occupant Co-Borrower concept offers great flexibility in helping one buying their first home or buying up etc. This is an excellent opportunity for many at all price points.

These are a few current thoughts we wanted to share.  Know how busy you are, but we are always available to run any “What-If” scenarios etc.  We are experts with the most complex of tax returns and have a very broad range of real estate and financial expertise at all price points and classes of real estate. Once again we welcome your contact.
Gloria Shulman, Curtis Cohen & all of us at CenTek

  • RATES ARE STILL VERY ATTRACTIVE
  • FOR YOUR RETIRED CLIENTS: SPECIAL PROGRAMS AVAILABLE!
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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