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September 2016

 

Whether you are looking to buy or sell, I can offer the highest levels in real estate expertise and professionalism. Don’t hesitate to give me a and allow me to help guide you through that process!

Paul Lupi
Realtor CalBRE#01992906
paul.lupi@bhhscal.com   |   (310) 801-7579
http://www.lupirealty.com

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FINANCIAL TIP

Quick Fixes for FICO® Scores

With mortgage interest rates near record lows, you may want to buy a home before rates go higher. Can you qualify for a purchase loan? Your FICO® scores may be the key.

Over 50 years ago, The Fair Isaac Company created credit scoring so that lenders can understand at a glance how much risk you pose as a borrower. “FICO” scores are determined by a software algorithm that analyzes your job, credit, income-to-debt ratios, spending habits and payment history. Base scores range between 300 and 850, and borrowers with the highest scores get the best credit terms.

Each credit reporting bureau, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, calculates its own score, so review all your credit reports for errors and get them resolved as quickly as possible. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to get free one-time copies of your credit reports. Credit scores aren’t free, but you can get scores from all three bureaus at www.myfico.com for under $60.

FICO scores change with new information. Prevent lower scores by doing the following:

  • Pay all bills on time.
  • Pay more than the minimum payment required.
  • Reduce credit card debt to improve income-to-debt ratios.
  • Don’t open new accounts to consolidate debt or close credit card accounts.
  • Use no more than 30% of your available credit on any card.
  • Don’t change jobs immediately before applying for a mortgage loan.

Mortgage lenders are most interested in your ability to repay the loan. Long-term employment in the same field and on-time credit payments are the best ways to build and protect your credit scores.

Westside Real Estate update

Low inventory leads to higher prices

Los Angeles County, hit hard by the 2008 recession, is nearing a housing recovery. Most importantly, Los Angeles finally recovered all jobs lost during the recession at the end of 2014. Until 2015, the housing recovery had been driven primarily by investors in Los Angeles County. But expect the housing market to begin to show more life from owner-occupants as employment and incomes continue to improve in 2016. The largest obstacle facing homebuyers in today’s market is home prices, which have risen out of the reach of many, meaning competition in the lower price range is tight.   The supply level of homes on the Westside under $1MM is less than a month according to the MLS and continues to drive home prices.

Some notable Westside median sales prices

Marina del Rey Condo/Townhome         8/2016 - $903,000       8/2015 - $852,000      +6.0%

Mar Vista / Del Rey Condo/Townhome  8/2016 - $701,000       8/2015 - $589,000       +19.0%

Mar Vista / Del Rey Single Family         8/2016 - $1,300,000     8/2015 - $1,150,000   +13.0%

Santa Monica Condo/Townhome           8/2016 - $1,006,000    8/2015 - $962,000       +4.6%

Santa Monica Single Family                  8/2016 - $2,215,000     8/2015 - $2,200,000   +0.6%

Venice Condo/Townhome                     8/2016 - $1,400,000      8/2015 - $1,470,000   -5.0%

Venice Single Family                             8/2016 - $1,900,000      8/2015 - $1,810,000   +4.7%

HOMESELLING TIP

The Four D’s

Keeping your home in show-ready condition can be challenging, especially if you have a houseful of kids and pets. What to do? Follow the Four D’s.

Declutter: Most listing agents would agree that clutter confuses buyers. They can’t see the home’s “bones” for all the furniture, toys, and other things. You have to pack up to move, so start dividing your things into three categories - keep, donate, and throw away. For things you want to keep, get a storage unit for out-of-season clothes and holiday dishes that you won’t need for a while.

Depersonalize: While you’re decluttering, store personal items such as photos, albums, figurines and collectibles. Accidents happen, so pack up and store as many breakable items as you can.

Detail: Just as you detail your car to help it hold its beauty and value, you should detail your home with the most vigorous cleaning it’s ever had. When you know you’re home is being shown or to get it ready for an open house, get your helpers to grab a basket and pick up anything that doesn’t belong out, like dirty clothes, wet towels, and tablets and smartphones.

Decamp: It’s harder for buyers to imagine themselves in your home if you’re still there, so take the kids and the dog to the park while your home is being shown. Buyers need to feel free to speak their minds and weigh possibilities.

Get everyone on board to keep things clean and neat, and your showings are much more likely to result in your home being sold.

HOMEBUYING TIP

What Buyers Should Know About Home Inspections

Many buyers hope to find a home in perfect condition so they can avoid dealing with maintenance issues. The problem is – no perfect home exists, so as a buyer, you should rely on home inspections to tell you what you need to know about the condition of the home you’re buying.

Be prepared to hire and schedule several types of inspectors to look at structural, pests, and environmental elements, depending on requirements in your state.

A structural home inspection should take several hours and cover all built-in appliances, all mechanical, electrical, gas and plumbing systems, the roof, foundation, gutters, exterior skins, windows and doors.

Home inspections may only cover the main house. This is significant for specialty inspections such as termites, because termites are more likely to be found in outbuildings. Make sure any inspection covers all buildings on the property including guest houses, detached garages, barns, stables and other buildings that will convey with the property, even if you have to pay more.

Attend every inspection and stay with the inspectors. Seeing problems for yourself will help you understand what’s serious, what needs replacement now or later, and what’s not significant. While home inspections point out problems, they also show you what’s working well so you can make your final decision about the home.

You can ask the seller to make repairs, or you can offer a little less. If you’re getting a VA or FHA-guaranteed loan, some items aren’t negotiable and the seller must address them, but otherwise ask Paul Lupi for assistance and he will lead you in the right direcion.

HOME IMPROVEMENT TIP

Home Design: Front to Back Porches

Beautiful sunsets, soft breezes, greeting the neighbors while you rock in your porch swing…you can enjoy all these pleasures right on your front porch. If you want to enjoy the outdoors more, here are four easy ways to create the porch of your dreams.

  1. Find a paint color that compliments your home’s exterior and shouts “I’ve been updated!” Have fun with colors on the floorboards, columns, shutters, front door, and trim, and don’t forget that a blue ceiling keeps mosquitos away, or at least it did 100 years ago.
  2. Refinish or replace your old porch furniture. Depending on the look you want and how much space you have, think about scale and function. Choose furniture to suit your activities, to read and relax, or entertain friends with refreshing summer drinks, or watch the children play.
  3. Decorate with flowers and plants to add a splash of color and style. Check with your local nursery to learn which plants do well potted, whether the porch gets direct sun or shade, and how large the plants will grow.
  4. Decorate for character. Each home has a personality, just like its owners. Search online or the local flea market for treasures like chimes and garden stools. Try the new “living room” style, complete with curtains on a rod and an outdoor rug.

A porch is like a perch – you can use it to enjoy your place in the world, and it has the added benefit of bringing more curb appeal to your home.

 
 
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CalBRE#: 01992906
3130 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 100 Santa Monica, CA 90403
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