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23
Jan

Star in Your Own Home Buyer Drama

You say there isn’t enough drama in the home buying process? You crave more anxiety as you scour the city for a home? Well, this is your lucky day, my friends. Because I’m going to unveil a selection of surefire ways to make home buying a whole heck of a lot more stressful. I mean, why feel comfortable making a life choice even more important than shoe color selection? Believe me, comfort is way, way overrated. So let’s get to it. Here’s how to star in a home buyer drama packed with unrelenting tension.

Ignore Your Credit Score. Don’t bother checking your FICO before going on a house hunt. Such advance info could leave you prepared for an encounter with the bank. And readiness is a guaranteed anxiety reducer. It’s far more stressful to be surprised when the bank reveals a score that’s lower than expected. If fortune really is smiling on you, your report also will be blemished by those little errors that creditors have been known to make. All these negatives add up to only one thing – an interest rate higher than the moon. A guaranteed stress-booster if ever there was one.

Count on Luck. Experts recommend setting aside anywhere from 3-5 months worth of mortgage payments — beyond what you’re shelling out for a down. But such far-sighted preparation offers you excessive comfort. It’s much more stressful to throw caution to the wind and count on a steady income in a still-unsteady economy.

Don’t Bother Purchasing a Home You Like. Who gives a hoot if quick sales are all but ancient history? You don’t have to be realistic because you’ve got a hankering for major stress. Fortunately, you’re convinced that, for some unknown reason, the home you buy will fly off the shelf the second you plant the ‘For Sale’ sign. Therefore, whatever you do, don’t waste time shopping for a home that you and your family will love in the long term. There’s too great a risk of happiness and contentment. A far more reliable route is snapping up any ol’ home, which you’ll likely be stuck in far longer than expected.

Would you like more insights pertaining to the home buying process? Simply drop your questions and thoughts into the comment box. Or just reach out to our team directly.

And, of course, if you’re ready to discover the latest opportunities in the Beverly Hills real estate market, I’m ready to make it happen.  Call or email today.

Back soon.

Terre Steinbeck

terre.steinbeck@gmail.com

(310) 666-4094  DIRECT

(310) 724-7100   OFFICE

20
Jan

How to evict a tenant!

How to evict a tenant!

This is very useful, and more important, accurate information on how to legally evict a tenant anywhere in Los Angeles.  Its a must read for any landlord….

19
Jan

A mortgage update from Syd Leibovitch – Owner, Rodeo Realtor Fine Estates

Mortgage rates fall to near record lows this week…….

Today, mortgage rates fall once again to  near record lows again. A 30-year mortgage rate this week has dropped to 3.38% compared to 3.4% last week.  This week’s rate is slightly above the record low that was reached in November at 3.31%, which marked the lowest rate on record dating back to 1971. A 15-year mortgage remained unchanged this week at 2.65%. The record low for a 15-year mortgage is 2.63%. With rates so low at this time, any bit of inflation can push them higher.

 

Last month, the Fed said they would keep interest rates near zero until the jobless rate falls to 6.5 percent and as long as the central bank believes inflation will stay below 2.5 percent. At this point, inflation remains flat. Labor Department reported on Wednesday, CPI was unchanged last month thus with this new data, inflation will continue to remain flat and not hit the Feds threshold to raise interest rates.

 

Construction rates have also increased as builders began to build 780,000 homes just last year — up 28.1% from 2011, when new home construction hit a record low, the lowest since 2008. Although, increases in construction became a part of the housing recovery last year, it hasn’t made a significant contribution to the hiring. With these reports, increased construction rates have made investors more optimistic about the US economy.

 

With the unemployment rate projected to fall lower this year and home sales expected to rise at a rate similar to last year’s, interest rates are projected to remain relatively low throughout 2013. Assuming the uncertainty of the fiscal policy, debates during the first quarter fails to disrupt the economic expansion and the U.S. should see about two million new jobs created this year.

We are most definitely amidst a period of financial uncertainty as the government deals with fiscal cliffs, debt ceilings and increased tax rates, these uncertainties have caused rates to fluctuate over the past several weeks. Banks are increasing mortgage lending in Southern California, so this is an excellent time for buyers.  These lower mortgage rates will help strengthen the housing market and road to recovery and we will start to see inventory levels rise………..  Have a nice weekend everyone!!!

 
18
Jan

Real Estate Forecasts – Round Two

My previous entry covered some of the more striking real estate trends sweeping the nation. As a bonus, the article included a batch of market forecasts for the upcoming year. In a nutshell, the coastal regions of L.A., San Francisco, and New York are experiencing a welcome resurgence in the marketplace. As for the vast majority of the country, however, the picture isn’t nearly as rosy. These areas can expect a mixed bag of ups and downs as their markets sluggishly awaken from their recessional slumber.

Indeed, guessing what’s in store for buyers and sellers across the nation will be a tough a nut to crack. To help you navigate this uncertain terrain, here’s a second round of expert forecasts for the coming year.

Fine Situation. Expect the federal government to zero in on the banking industry’s foreclosure practices. Throughout 2013 and beyond, fines, fees, and settlements levied against lenders could total a staggering $300 billion. Also getting into the act will be the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other agencies, which will be slapping hefty fines on companies taking part in questionable financial practices.

Bargain Buyers. OK, maybe home prices in your part of the world are crawling upward. But that’s by no means an invitation to list your house at peak prices. Let’s get real, sellers. This isn’t a decade ago. So buyers won’t be shelling out premium sums for your little castle. Prices must be what the market will bear, not what the seller would want.

Banks to the Rescue. Increasingly, banks will offer homeowners more financial breaks in the form of short sale options and loan modifications. A major impetus for the stepped-up rescue operations will come from Uncle Sam. According to recent legislation, the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers must spend a portion of the ‘national mortgage settlement’ monies on loss mitigation programs. Plus, thanks to a timely extension, besieged homeowners can enjoy another year of tax breaks related to mortgage debt forgiveness.

Would you like to learn more about real estate market trends throughout the nation? Simply drop your questions and thoughts into the comment box. Or just reach out to our team directly.

And, of course, if you’re ready to discover the latest opportunities in the Beverly Hills real estate market, I’m ready to make it happen.  Call or email today.

Back soon.

Terre Steinbeck

terre.steinbeck@gmail.com

(310) 666-4094  DIRECT

(310) 724-7100   OFFICE

16
Jan

Coasting to Real Estate Success

If you’re buying or selling real estate in Los Angeles, San Francisco, or The Big Apple, count yourselves lucky. Extremely lucky. The market is bouncing back nicely in those bustling coastal vicinities. Unfortunately, the same upbeat headlines are not making the news in most of the remaining portions of the U.S. In fact, the vast majority of the country can, at best, expect mixed results in 2013. Looming on the horizon of this widespread area are: a rising number of foreclosures, microscopic advances in home prices, further regulation, and basement-level interest rates.

Of course, the gray clouds hanging over the real estate market are dissipating nationwide. But at a snail’s pace.  The reason for the sluggish advance?  Numero uno is fear. Understandably, many people are afraid that ongoing governmental disagreements will trigger another phase of economic slippage. That, in turn, would knock the crawling real estate market well back behind the starting gate.

What will happen in the coming year definitely is uncertain, especially for those outside the big three coastal regions. For those of you who find solace in expert opinion, here’s what many real estate honchos are forecasting for 2013.

Soft Sales. Depressed home prices (down 25% from record highs) combined with soft sales will keep the market in a winter chill throughout much of the nation. Case in point is Chicago. Home sales in that toddling town are 20% below their ’06 high water mark. More employment stability and buyer confidence is needed to jolt the national market back into a brisk gallop.

Foreclosure Flow. In many quarters of the country, foreclosures will continue to blockade economic expansion. Public policy that inadvertently triggers an economic downturn will open the tap further on the foreclosure flow.

Ground Level Interest Rates. A major buyer boon will be the expected low interest rates, which should persist through ‘013 and beyond well into ‘014. Stimulus for the ground level rates will come from the Federal Reserve. The regulatory body recently announced its intention to purchase another round of mortgage-backed securities and bonds, a move that will enable more people to get loans for real estate purchases.

Would you like to learn more about real estate market trends throughout the nation? Simply drop your questions and thoughts into the comment box. Or just reach out to our team directly.

And, of course, if you’re ready to discover the latest opportunities in the Beverly Hills real estate market, I’m ready to make it happen.  Call or email today.

Back soon.

Terre Steinbeck

terre.steinbeck@gmail.com

(310) 666-4094  DIRECT

(310) 724-7100   OFFICE

11
Jan

Improve Your Home Buying App-titude…The Sequel

Often, if one is good, two is better. Notable exceptions are strikes in baseball and left feet on the dance floor. Anyway, in a bold attempt to double your pleasure, I’m going to make your home-shopping life easier with this companion piece to my previous article. Those who delved into the original discovered a treasure trove of nifty mobile apps perfect for those on a house hunt. If you marveled over your smartphone’s IQ before, just wait until you boost its brainpower with these user-friendly home buying aids.

Home Value Pro

So how do you know when a home is underpriced, overpriced, or, in the immortal words of Goldilocks, “just right.” Cool those mental jets and let this handy tool provide you with these must-have answers. Now you’ll always know when the price is right.

Mortgage Calculator

Unless you’re that rare all-cash buyer, you’ll be beefing up your monthly mortgage with bank revenues commonly known as interest payments. This app gives you the complete 411 on mortgages and the real cost of your dream home.

Mortgage Rates

If you’d rather focus your shopping time on Prada accessories than mortgage rates, here’s the app for you.  This amazing tool instantly reveals which lenders are offering the rate you’re after.

Houzz

So you want to remodel your home all by yourself. Houzz offers you 500,000 high-resolution photos guaranteed to bring out your inner remodeler like the sun brings out morning glories. While looking over the possibilities, you can pop your favorites into a virtual idea book for future use.

Handy Man DIY

Alright, your home could use a slight makeover. But you’ve decided to jump this hurdle sans contractor. Created for the valiant do-it-yourself artist, this tool puts it all at your fingertips — room dimensions, shopping lists, and demonstration videos.

Sherwin Williams ColorSnap

You’re drawn to the radiant blush of roses in bloom. If only you could capture the shade and bring that color to your home’s interior. Say no more. Your wish will be fulfilled by this astounding app. Simply save or take a picture of anything in the world that grabs you color-wise. Then sit back and enjoy as your smartphone displays a complete range of matching Sherwin Williams paint colors.

Would you like to learn even more about the amazing digital developments of interest to home buyers? Simply drop your questions and thoughts into the comment box. Or just reach out to our team directly.

And, of course, if you’re ready to discover the latest opportunities in the Beverly Hills real estate market, I’m ready to make it happen.  Call or email today.

Back soon.

Terre Steinbeck

terre.steinbeck@gmail.com

(310) 666-4094  DIRECT

(310) 724-7100   OFFICE

9
Jan

Improve Your Home Buying App-titude

Alright, you’ve connected with the ideal realtor. You’re ready to sail in and snap up the perfect property. But still, you’d feel a whole heck of a lot better if you weren’t in such a fog about the whole thing. Wouldn’t it be great if you knew a tad more about house hunting? Better still, what if you had a gold mine of info right at your fingertips? Say no more. It’s done, thanks to marvelous mobile technology.  Here for your enlightenment is a selection of amazing apps that deliver on-demand info covering virtually every topic of interest to house hunters. And you thought your smartphone couldn’t get any smarter.

HomeSnap

Load up your IPhone with this powerhouse, and bingo, you get photos, selling price, sale history, and a million other facts about a selected listing. The tool even schedules showings – without demanding a coffee break.

House Hunter

Are you enraptured by more than one home? Stymied in the decision-making process? This tool arranges all notes and photographs of homes under consideration, rating each with a score. Beats playing eenie-meenie-miney-mo.

AroundMe

Where do you go once you leave the comfort of home sweet home? AroundMe turns your smartphone into a showcase of local businesses. A real time-saver is the built-in GPS, which zeroes in on your closest grocery store, gym, nail salon, and anything else of interest.

The Dictionary of Real Estate Terms

No more will realtors overwhelm you with a blizzard of incomprehensible terms. This able assistant instantly transforms you into a master of real estate jargon, not to mention the life of the party.

Would you like to learn more about the amazing digital developments of interest to home buyers? Simply drop your questions and thoughts into the comment box. Or just reach out to our team directly.

And, of course, if you’re ready to discover the latest opportunities in the Beverly Hills real estate market, I’m ready to make it happen.  Call or email today.

Back soon.

Terre Steinbeck

terre.steinbeck@gmail.com

(310) 666-4094  DIRECT

(310) 724-7100   OFFICE

4
Jan

Will You Be Thumped by the New Tax?

The holidays have come and gone. And while the season probably provided us with a welcome respite from the rigors of the daily grind, it’s now time to turn our thoughts from sugarplums and champagne. That’s right. We must ease out of the holiday zone and once again focus on serious business…at least for a few minutes.

If you own real estate, one of the more serious topics occupying your mind is that of a particular new tax. You know, the one targeting certain investment income. If you recall, Congress approved the tax way back in 2010. It’s purpose: to help cover the expenses of President Obama’s healthcare and Medicare overhaul programs.

It’s too late to do anything but grin and bear it. The tax law went into action on January 1. So be prepared. It definitely will have an impact on some real estate transactions. For those that qualify, a 3.8% tax will be assessed on income derived from interest, dividends, rents, and capital gains.

There’s a rumor floating around that every single deal will feel the tax sting. This is pure fantasy. Individuals must meet a number of criteria in order to qualify for taxation. Not everyone will satisfy the requirements. For instance, in order to qualify, a person’s adjusted gross income (AGI) must exceed $200,000. Couples filing a joint return must have an AGI above the $250,000 mark.

To find out where you fall in the taxation scheme of things, it’s best to consult an expert who understands the intricacies of the law — be that a tax attorney or CPA. The main point here is to avoid waiting until the midnight hour to get on top of the situation. As with most things in life, preparation is the foundation of success in the taxation realm.

Now remember, there’s absolutely no need to be alarmed by the new tax. With the real estate market rebounding in a big way, it’s still prime time to buy a choice property – as an investment or a home. The opportunities abound.

If you’re ready to discover the latest opportunities in the Beverly Hills real estate market, I’m ready to make it happen.  Call or email today.

Back soon.

Terre Steinbeck

terre.steinbeck@gmail.com

(310) 666-4094  DIRECT

(310) 724-7100   OFFICE

30
Dec

A Theater in Your Handout?

With the New Year knocking on our door, I thought it would be the perfect time to touch on something else that’s new – something that has far-reaching possibilities for the real estate industry. Alright, alright, you can’t think about anything but siestas and celebrating right now. Fair enough. But getting a heads up on such an astounding phenomenon likely will prove extraordinarily valuable. So put the partying on pause for a second.

Here’s the scoop. A few years earlier in the century, Pepsi amazed the reading public with a unique pitch in Entertainment Weekly. Displayed on one of the publication’s pages was a video. We’re not talking link to an online production. This was a fully embedded video that played like it was coming through your widescreen TV. Only smaller. Readers even had an opportunity to choose different video options. Adding to the magic, viewers also could interact with the magazine if the mood struck them.

Have a look at the video to get a feel of the technology’s enormous possibilities.

As with most technologies, the price on this one is getting lower every year. If the trend continues, embedded videos such as the one in EW soon will be tantalizingly affordable.

Embedded videos present tremendous possibilities for real estate marketers. The most obvious is that the mini-productions can offer viewers an instant showcase of your business or a listed home — without a side trip to YouTube. No clicking required. And what an attention getter. I mean, who wouldn’t look at a video that’s planted on such an unlikely channel as paper!

Would you like to learn more about emerging technologies for real estate marketing? Feel free to reach out in my direction.  Or fire your questions and comments into the comment box below. There’s always a vacancy.

And, of course, if you want an instant connection to the latest info and opportunities in the Beverly Hills real estate market, I’m ready to make it happen.  Call or email today.

Back soon.

In the meantime, Happy New Year!

Terre Steinbeck

terre.steinbeck@gmail.com

(310) 666-4094  DIRECT

(310) 724-7100   OFFICE

28
Dec

Real Estate Trends for the New Year

Before I kick up my heels and raise my glass in a heartfelt toast to welcome in the New Year, I still have a few loose ends to tie up. And with ‘013 only a few short days away, the one in most urgent need of tying involves peeking into the future. That’s right. It’s time to put a bright shiny spotlight on the ‘what-will-happen’ in the real estate marketplace. So, as the golden sun sets on ‘012, here are some trends I see shaping the real estate landscape in the coming 365 days.

Banks Will Maintain a Mortgage Microscope

After the financial upheaval that ripped through the banking industry only a couple of years ago, banks will continue putting borrowers under a high-powered microscope to ensure they meet a new set of high lending standards. Many will apply; not all will make it.

Less Distress

Banks still are well-stocked with Real Estate Owned (REO) properties, but lenders likely will not flood the market with the inventory. Turning the tap all the way open likely would dilute the marketplace and force values downward, as dictated by the familiar rules of supply and demand.

Climbing Prices

Many forecasters expect the rising price of real estate to continue through the New Year. This trend could slow to a halt, and even reverse itself, should the job market remain stuck in the mud.

Construction Resurgence

Thanks to surging demand, the most desirable locales are seeing housing inventories dwindle. Motivated owners will respond to the shortage by listing their homes, thereby beefing up the supply somewhat. Nevertheless, home builders are bracing themselves to fill any remaining gaps. So look for more activity on the construction front.

Would you like to learn more about these real estate market trends? Feel free to reach out in my direction.  Or fire your questions and comments into the comment box below. There’s always a vacancy.

And, of course, if you want an instant connection to the latest info and opportunities in the Beverly Hills real estate market, I’m ready to make it happen.  Call or email today.

Back soon.

Terre Steinbeck

terre.steinbeck@gmail.com

(310) 666-4094  DIRECT

(310) 724-7100   OFFICE