caroline sells the city: FHA and VA Loans More Viable? - 09/10/13 04:37 PM
Yes, it's been a busy last year in real estate, but the fervor overall seems to be cooling down a bit, and with that, any buyers who are utilizing FHA or VA financing should be in good spirits -- your offers will be considered!
For you buyers looking for homes on the market, I know it must've been very discouraging for you this past year, but things are loosening up, and it's important now you keep focused and make sure you're working with a GOOD FHA or VA mortgage lender.
With these two loan types in particular, your lender is of … (3 comments)

caroline sells the city: 5 Reasons You Need a Realtor - 09/10/13 04:34 PM
  Today's 5 reminders as to why you need a realtor:
 

 
So send your realtor a virtual hug today. :)
 
Caroline Choi Real Estate
Caroline Sells The City LA
www.CarolineSellsTheCity.com
(4 comments)

caroline sells the city: A Quickie Primer on Escrow and Taxes - 07/12/13 03:34 PM
Ever wonder what escrow's role is in helping sort out what your property taxes, documentary transfer taxes, and other tax liabilities would be from a sale or purchase of real property?
Here's a quickie primer, courtesy of our friends at Lawyer's Title:
 

 
As you can see, escrow really helps get these items taken care of for buyers and sellers by getting them to the proper agencies. Hooray escrow! Thank your escrow officer and company your next transaction - I'm sure they'll appreciate it.
 
Happy Buying and Selling!
 
Caroline Choi Real Estate
Caroline Sells The City LA
(2 comments)

caroline sells the city: Higher Interest Rates? They're Here.... - 06/26/13 12:12 PM
 
As interest rates continue to tick up, the LA Times is reporting interest rates to be at 5% this next year. Check out the article below:

 
Depending on whether you are a buyer, seller, or owner looking to refi, this could all affect you differently.
For a buyer, a higher interest rate could mean less purchasing power due to the extra interest you would be paying on your mortgage.
For a seller, if there are some buyers on the cusp of your price point, it could mean less buyers who are able to afford your home.
For … (0 comments)

caroline sells the city: Rates May Not be Going Back Down.... - 06/26/13 12:10 PM
We've just experienced a spike in interest rates, leaving us wondering .... will they go back down? None of us have a crystal ball, but here's some compelling foresight courtesy of Joseph Rose of Perl Lending:
This isn't easy to say, but it must be said - rates are NOT going back down (at least not significantly). Rates being quoted right now range from the 4.75% area to above 5%, based on lender, consumer profile (credit score, program, money down, etc), and the day. When I say "the day", I'm not being flippant - there really is such nauseating volatility that … (0 comments)

caroline sells the city: Sign of the Times: Motivated Buyers Skip the Bidding Wars - 06/26/13 12:07 PM
You've heard the stories. Those of us in the trenches have seen it live. It's a tight market and if you've been actively searching for a home in the last few months - I understand, it's been tough.
For those of you who are just entering the market after remembering the market circa 2010, it might be a jagged pill to swallow, but yes, the market has changed. I've met several buyers actually in the last few days who are thinking the market is where it was a couple of years ago, when there was more inventory and more softness in … (0 comments)

caroline sells the city: Understanding Living Trusts - 06/20/13 09:42 PM
  Real estate is often one of the largest assets a family owns, and so protecting that asset and making sure it makes it to the right people in the event of death can be a huge concern for parents with children.
One way to protect and pass along this asset is to place your property into a living trust. Read on for more details on what a living trust is, courtesy of our friends at Lawyer's Title:


Always consult with an estate planning attorney, CPA, and life insurance rep to make sure your living trust is structured in … (0 comments)

caroline sells the city: Market Pulse - Real Estate Trends 2013 - 06/20/13 09:39 PM
  Curious as to what the real estate market is doing? Take a look at the market pulse, courtesy of Realtor Magazine:

Depending on the market in your neck of the woods, these numbers might be slightly off, but it still gives you a great overview of what the market is doing in general. With home inventory shortages still prevalent, home prices may continue to rise until more inventory comes out on the market. What does that mean for you? Maybe a bubble in your area until more inventory pops up, or household incomes rise to meet this increase.
Stay … (0 comments)

caroline sells the city: The Pre-Approval vs. Pre-Qualification - 06/20/13 09:36 PM
Buyers are always asking me what they need to move forward when starting to look for a home. I always recommend getting pre-approved from a trusted lender, if you require financing for your purchase.
Well, what if I get pre-qualified?
A pre-qualification is not the same as a pre-approval, and the strength of your offer with a pre-approval will significantly increase vs. one with a pre-qualification. Why, you ask?
Generally speaking, a pre-qualification involves the lender running a buyer's credit, and having a conversation about income, debts, and down payment. These items are not verified at that time.
A pre-approval involves … (1 comments)

caroline sells the city: What is 'DU'? - 05/20/13 02:56 PM
What is 'DU'?     If you're a buyer out there actively looking for properties, you may have run across a seller looking for you to provide your 'DU' with your offer.
Huh...?
No worries -- here's a primer on what a DU is, courtesy of Scott Groves at Prospect Mortgage:
DU - short for desktop underwriting - is the computer software provided to lenders from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. With many offers and pre-approval letters, lenders are being asked to provide "DU" findings. Running "DU" simply means that a lender has run their loan application through a computer system … (1 comments)

caroline sells the city: Article: Rising House Prices Make Selling More Attractive - 05/20/13 02:53 PM
Article: Rising House Prices Make Selling More Attractive     I'm sure if you're interested in the real estate market at all these days, it's pretty clear the market has changed, not only from last year, but even within the last 6 months!
Courtesy of our friends at National Mortgage News, here's an article that's speaking to what the market is doing now:
 
Rising House Prices Make Selling More Attractive
By Brian Collins
MAY 7, 2013 10:08am ET
Courtesy of:
www.nationalmortgagenews.com
 
 
House prices jumped 1.9% in March from the prior month, which sent the year-over-year increase in … (0 comments)

caroline sells the city: Vesting Descriptions in California - 05/20/13 02:50 PM
Vesting Descriptions in California     In that wonderful stack of paperwork you just received from escrow regarding your home purchase or refinance here in California, there's likely a form asking you how you would like to take title or "vesting" on the property. The typical response you may hear is to consult with a real estate attorney or CPA, but here's a little cheat sheet so you have an understanding of these terms once you speak to your preferred attorney or CPA, courtesy of our friends at Lawyers Title:

 
 
Happy Buying, Selling,and Refi-ing!
 
 
Caroline Choi … (0 comments)

caroline sells the city: The Difference between a Full Condo Review and Limited Condo Review - 04/09/13 11:07 AM
  Thinking about buying or selling a condo? While HOA docs are ordered for the buyer to review, a buyer's lender will also take interest in the HOA and what the HOA might have going on.
In these financed transactions, the lender will either conduct a full condo review or limited condo review. What's the difference? A full condo review is much more comprehensive than a limited condo review, and all documents regarding budgets, HOA financials, meetings, reserve studies, by-laws, articles of incorporation, CC&Rs, as well as an HOA questionnaire are required. Sounds like a lot, right?
In a limited condo … (1 comments)

caroline sells the city: DTLA Events for April 2013 - 04/09/13 11:05 AM
Live, work, or play Downtown and wondering what there's to do this April as the weather warms up? Here's a great list of happenings going on this month in DTLA, including concerts, readings, theater performances, and shopping in the area:
http://www.downtownla.com/0_02_calendar.asp
So if you're looking for things to do, DTLA is the place! Go explore!
 
Caroline Choi Real Estate
Caroline Sells The City LA
www.CarolineSellsTheCity.com
(0 comments)

caroline sells the city: What is Escrow? - 04/09/13 10:59 AM
For those of us in real estate, we throw around a lot of terms, and sometimes, those terms may not be clear to people who have not been through the escrow or home buying or selling process, such as first time buyers. Keep in mind that other states may use attorneys to close their transactions, but here in California, we use escrow holders.
Escrow is essentially a term we use to say "we're in the process of making this deal happen", and also referred to as the actual third party who handles the transaction from seller to buyer. Here's a list … (0 comments)

caroline sells the city: How Your 2013 Taxes Can Affect your Home Mortgage Application - 04/09/13 10:56 AM
Yes, that's right, it's tax time again, and your taxes are due.
If you're considering purchasing a home, I say it's a good idea to touch base with your lender to make sure nothing you note on your tax return will jeopardize your chance of getting a home mortgage. The manner in which you file, any changes in deductions you claim, as well as how you open or close a business entity can all affect a home mortgage application, so it's not a bad idea to check in with your lender to make sure everything's still on the up and up.
(0 comments)

caroline sells the city: Waiting Periods for Buyers who've Experienced Bankruptcy/Foreclosure - 03/27/13 03:47 PM
Waiting Periods for Prospective Buyers who've Experience Bankruptcy or Foreclosure     Think you're out of luck if you've experienced hardship in the past few years and had to either declare bankruptcy, or went through foreclosure?
Never fear! You have options! Thanks to my friends at Realtor.org, who've come up with this nifty chart to highlight what your waiting period might look like to purchase a new property, depending on what type of loan you get, as well as whether you went through bankruptcy or foreclosure:

 
So if you're in one of the above situations, it looks like potentially … (2 comments)

caroline sells the city: Market Pulse - 03/27/13 03:43 PM
Market Pulse     Wonder what's going on with pricing, inventory, buyer/seller traffic, and % of cash sales these days? Thanks to our friends at Realtor.org, here are some stats from January 2012-January 2013 trends:

 
As you can see, upwards trends across the board, with inventory ticking upward. Stay informed!
 
Happy Buying and Selling!
 
Caroline Choi Real Estate
Caroline Sells The City LA
www.CarolineSellsTheCity.com
(0 comments)

caroline sells the city: How DTLA Has Changed in the Last 2 Years - 03/26/13 02:47 PM
How DTLA Has Changed in the Last 2 Years     To this day, I am inundated with potential buyers who had previously seen listings in DTLA at unheard of prices -- I'm going to refer to them as prices circa 2010-2011 -- and unfortunately for buyers/fortunately for sellers, the DTLA market has indeed changed.
These buyers are now wondering how the market is doing, and if they can find listings in their desired $300K and below price range. Where DTLA used to be flooded with these units as bank-owned or short sale units, today's inventory = 1 unit that is … (0 comments)

caroline sells the city: Why Should I Short Sell? - 03/04/13 09:46 AM
Why Should I Short Sell?     Are you thinking about possibly short selling your home, but need to be a bit more educated on how this could affect your credit and your near future? Here are some reasons you may want to consider short selling:
Know your options and educate yourself!!
 
Caroline Choi Real Estate
Caroline Sells The City LA
www.CarolineSellsTheCity.com
(2 comments)

 
Caroline Choi, Caroline Sells The City -- Los Angeles (John Aaroe Group - Broker Associate/EcoBroker Certified)

Caroline Choi

Caroline Sells The City -- Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA

More about me…

John Aaroe Group - Broker Associate/EcoBroker Certified

Address: 548 S Spring St #109, Los Angeles, CA, 90013

Mobile: (323) 572-3112

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