los angeles county: Buyer's Market vs Sellers Market: Which One Are We In Here In Los Angeles & Ventura Counties? - Part 2 - 01/13/11 12:28 PM
In Part 1, I offered a rather broad description of what a buyers real estate market was and what a sellers real estate market was and how important it was for buyers and sellers to know what kind of specific market they were in before buying or selling a property here in Los Angeles & Ventura counties. 
In Part 2, I'd like to focus some of the specific criteria that determine a buyers market or a sellers market.  Because of the size of Los Angeles and Ventura counties (especially Los Angeles county), we actually have quite a few markets going on … (5 comments)

los angeles county: BUYER’S MARKET VS SELLERS MARKET: Which One Are We In Here In Los Angeles & Ventura Counties? – Part 1 - 01/12/11 06:41 PM
Determining whether a particular real estate market is a buyers market or a sellers market is theoretically based on the economic concept of supply and demand: the number of buyers in the market wanting to purchase a property vs. the number of sellers in the market wanting to sell a property.  It's a rather basic viewpoint of the model of supply and demand but for sake of simplicity; let's go with that depiction for now. 
Now, while there are numerous pieces of criteria that will determine if a particular market is a buyers market or sellers market, once again, for the … (8 comments)

los angeles county: DO SOME MARKETING STRATEGIES REALLY WORK? - A Local SoCA Real Estate Couple & Their Unusual Marketing Idea - 01/11/11 12:22 PM
I subscribe to the daily webcasts of Think Big, Work Small (TBWS), which is hosted by these two guys, Brian Stevens & Frank Garay.  TBWS was founded a couple of years ago by a bunch of real estate and mortgage people who wanted to teach others in the business how to work smarter to grow their business. 
This morning's video was especially entertaining because there was a segment on this real estate couple in my market (Los Angeles & Ventura counties) that own one of those little Tuk Tuks that they drive around in and use to market to the local community. 
I actually … (10 comments)

los angeles county: I'M CALLING MY OWN SHOTS! Plus a Few Others that the AR Gods Missed this Week - 01/09/11 12:59 PM
Well, this week there were so many really great posts here in the rain this week and many by some really good newbie bloggers as well as some of my fave bloggers too. 
There was Did You Enjoy Your $900,000 Breakfast?  by J. Philip Faranda for his gold star features that I was happy to "call the shot" on them.  These were great posts with equaling engaging comment threads - check them out. 
Then there were some other equally great posts that I suggested but that the AR Gods must have missed this week when they were bestowing those little gold … (17 comments)

los angeles county: ATTENTION HOMEBUYERS IN LOS ANGELES & VENTURA COUNTIES: Think Twice Before Making an Offer on that Short Sale - 01/08/11 01:01 PM
The other day, I stumbled upon Why Won't the Second Play Ball, They'll Get Nothing in a Foreclosure! by Linda Humphrey.  It got me to thinking about this disturbing new trend of second lienholders not "playing ball" and in some cases, getting down right despicable (i.e. demanding that everyone in the transaction break the law and jeopardize their professional licenses) with the way they conduct themselves in a short sale transaction.  
The market here in Los Angeles & Ventura counties is absolutely saturated with short sales and quite often, the sellers have more than one loan being held against the property. 
(12 comments)

los angeles county: What Kind of Paperwork Do You Need to Pre-Approve Me? FAQ - #3 - 01/07/11 02:04 PM
In my continuing series of some of the most frequently asked questions that I get from consumers and prospects who contact me about affordable home loan options, in Part 3, I will discuss the type of documentation that is necessary in order to complete the pre-approval process. 
Most Realtors/agents won't even show prospective buyers available property without a pre-approval letter.  Without speaking to a lender about their financial and personal information, neither the prospective buyer nor the Realtor/agent knows how much the buyers can qualify for or what type of loan they will be getting and it's pointless to even start looking … (12 comments)

los angeles county: Divorce Proceedings are NOT Part of the Transfer Disclosure Statement - NOR SHOULD THEY BE! - 01/06/11 12:01 PM
I subscribe to the daily webcasts of Think Big, Work Small (TBWS), which is hosted by these two guys, Brian Stevens & Frank Garay.  TBWS was founded a couple of years ago by a bunch of real estate and mortgage people who wanted to teach others in the business how to work smarter to grow their business. 
They had a poll recently on whether or not the divorce of sellers should be disclosed to prospective buyers that I found rather disconcerting but what was even worse was that Frank and Brian sided with the minority of the poll respondents. 
While it … (71 comments)

los angeles county: What kind of property can I buy? FAQ - #2 - 01/05/11 01:13 PM
In Part 1, I discussed the different first time buyer and down payment assistance (dpa) programs that are available to prospective buyers here in the Los Angeles & Ventura counties.  
In Part 2, I want to discuss some of the specific property qualifying requirements for the different programs that I didn't address in my post links in Part 1.  Here in Los Angeles & Ventura counties, no two down payment assistance (dpa) programs are alike. 
While all dpa programs are specifically geared for the low-median borrower, even the income guidelines can vary from program to program.  All dpa programs are all … (3 comments)

los angeles county: I'M CALLING MY OWN SHOTS! Plus a Few Others that the AR Gods Missed this Week - 01/02/11 02:58 PM
Well, this week there were so many really great posts here in the rain by some of my fave bloggers as well as some other bloggers that I've recently come across. 
There was Deals That Died 2010 by Doug Rogers, Has a Listing Agent maked MLS Changes between Offer and Closing?  by Christine Sutherland and What would you do if you weren't afraid? by Cynthia Larson for their gold star features that I was happy to "call the shot" on them.  These were great posts with equaling engaging comment threads - check them out. 
Then there were some other equally great … (16 comments)

los angeles county: CELEBRATING MY NEW YEARS EVE BIRTHDAY AT THE ELEPHANT BAR - 01/01/11 07:30 PM
For most of my life, having a New Years Eve birthday has been a blast.  As a child, my birthday was often an after thought because of coming so quickly after Christmas.  However, once I became an adult, I finally realized the benefits of my birthday - there were always parties to go to on my birthday. 
For many years, I never lacked for a celebration on my birthday.  Furthermore, my friends would often make sure that my birthday was part of the celebration.  For most of my birthdays, I would often leave town on vacation to celebrate my birthday, mostly … (20 comments)

los angeles county: What Kind of First Time Buyer Programs are Available in Los Angeles & Ventura Counties? FAQ - #1 - 12/29/10 02:13 PM
As a Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) here in Los Angeles and Ventura county who works with mostly buyers, many of whom are first time buyers, I get a lot of questions about the availability of affordable home loan options.  I actually love it when consumers ask me questions because I love talking about all the ways they can stop throwing their money away on rent and finally buy a home of their own.  I love hearing all the stories about how long they've been dreaming of being able to buy their own home and how this is the first time that they … (9 comments)

los angeles county: I'M CALLING MY OWN SHOTS! Plus a Few Others that the AR Gods Missed this Week - 12/26/10 03:42 PM
Well, this week there were so many really great posts here in the rain by some of my fave bloggers as well as some other bloggers that I've recently come across. 
There was I Lost A Potential Buyer From Giving The Address From The MLS. He Bought From The Other Agent!!!! By Ken Barker  and Do I Really Have to Use the Seller's Lender? by Ed Gillespie for their gold star features that I was happy to "call the shot" on them.  These were great posts with equaling engaging comment threads - check them out. 
Then there were some other equally … (20 comments)

los angeles county: FORMER CLIENT OR FRIEND? How Lucky Have You Been? - 12/24/10 12:49 PM


Former client or friend?  Hmmm.....  
Last weekend, hubby and I attended a Christmas party hosted by some former clients of mine.  These clients were actually referred by a relative of theirs who was also a former client.  What an honor it is to be invited to functions that former clients often reserve for just their family and friends.  That's when you know you've moved to friend status.

 
OMG!!!  What a great time!  Actually, a little too good of a time because my tush was dragging the whole next day.  But a good time it was with lots … (16 comments)

los angeles county: The Buying Triangle - 12/21/10 02:14 PM
This a great post by Valerie Zinger that I wish every buyer out there right now looking for a home would read.  I know that we all want to buy the perfect house, especially since we're spending several hundreds of thousands of dollars (at least here in Los Angeles & Ventura counties) on it. 
However, I have yet to see very many of my clients who have been able to get everything they want in their home.  As Valerie has illustrated, more times than not, something has to give and most buyers typically have to make some sacrifices somewhere - price, … (8 comments)

los angeles county: IMPORTANT HOLIDAY MESSAGE: All They Want for Christmas is You! - 12/18/10 01:26 PM
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge pet lover and they are forever sending me anything and everything pet related.  I just recently got this video and mushy me couldn't stop crying throughout the whole thing.  It didn't help that I absolutely love the song too!
Anyway, check it out and please remember the message.  It's such a wonderful message and so vitally important to so many precious little creatures.
 
(24 comments)

los angeles county: Open House | Sunday December 12th 1-4PM | 3 bedroom 2 bath | 8915 Fenwick Street Sunland, Ca. - 12/10/10 12:59 AM
If you're looking for a great family home in the foothills of the Angeles National Forest, that is also close to shopping, restaurants, entertainment with easy access to major highways, then come by Sunday afternoon and check out this wonderful home.  The best part about this home?  It's eligible for down payment assistance from CalHFA for qualified first time buyers. 
CalHFA's mission is to provide affordable housing finance opportunities to low and moderate income first-time homebuyers.  They do this by offering below market, fixed rate mortgages along with down payment assistance (dpa) programs.  CalHFA has recently launched their new FHA program … (10 comments)

los angeles county: I'll be YOUR Dorthy BECAUSE "We're Not in Kansas Anymore!" - 12/08/10 01:02 PM
ISN'T THAT THE TRUTH!!!  Oddly enough, I have actually said this to so many prospects and clients in the last couple of years.  So often when people contact me about getting pre-approved, they are under the impression that getting pre-approved is something they can do in a few minutes over the phone - WRONG!!!
While some mortgage loan originators (MLO) will pre-qualify prospects in that way, that is not how I pre-approve prospects.  These days, the pre-approval process is much more complicated than it has ever been and just because you have a decent job, money in the bank and good … (9 comments)

los angeles county: ATTENTION LOS ANGELES COUNTY HOME BUYERS: Wonderful Castaic Home Available for 100% Financing - 12/02/10 05:20 PM

 
This super sharp, single story, 3bd/2ba, Castaic cul-de-sac home with nearly 1,400 sq. ft. is in move-in condition.  With a tile entry, upgraded carpet, new blinds is super neat and clean. 
This home also has wonderful curb appeal, a two car garage w/ cabinets, private yard w/ covered patio, corner lot w/ views is just waiting for the right family to move right on in. 

 
With easy access to freeways and local shopping, this Castaic home is also just minutes from Castaic Lake as well as Pyramid Lake where boating, swimming, fishing and camping are favorite pastimes … (6 comments)

los angeles county: ATTENTION LOS ANGELES COUNTY FIRST TIME BUYERS: Wonderful Properties Available for Down Payment Assistance - 11/25/10 12:41 PM
Right now, there are nearly 50 available properties in Los Angeles county that are eligible for as much as $75,000 (depending on the sales price) in down payment assistance (dpa).  For example, this newly remodeled, West Athens, REO home is move-in ready for the right family.  This home offers 4bd/2ba of more than 1,700 sq. ft. on a more than 5,000 sq. ft. lot.

With new flooring throughout and a new kitchen (appliances, cabinets, counters) as well as new interior/exterior paint, this home is not one of those run-down, dilapidated, REO dumps that you've been seeing.  The best part, for approximately … (3 comments)

los angeles county: ATTENTION LOS ANGELES & VENTURA COUNTY HOMEBUYERS: Local Cities Land on the List of the Safest Cities in America - 11/22/10 02:54 PM
Every year, the FBI ranks the safest as well as the most dangerous cities in America based on a variety of crime data.  This year, Ventura County cities Simi Valley (#15) and Thousand Oaks (#17) have ranked in the top 20 safest cities in America. 
Once upon a time (not too long ago), these same two cities often ranked in the top five safest cities, however, with new cities and areas making it on the list every year, it has become harder and harder for these two cities to maintain their spots in the top five. 
Below is the list of … (8 comments)

 
Donne Knudsen, CalState Realty Services (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA) Rainmaker large

Donne Knudsen

CalState Realty Services

Simi Valley, CA

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