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Will FHA Rule Changes Affect Whittier Home Buyers?

by The Domis Team

It's no April Fool's joke - as of April 1, 2012, FHA-backed mortgages will require a higher mortgage insurance premium and a cleaner credit report. The new changes are aimed at reducing the Federal Housing Administration's risks in the face of ongoing loan losses.

FHA loans have been a lifeline for first-time homebuyers, and some industry analysis fear that the new guidelines will lock out more home buyers from the market. Here are the new rules, and what they could mean for Whittier home buyers:

Effective April 1, 2012, FHA loan amounts under $625,500 will have an annual mortgage premium of 1.25%. This is a small increase of 0.10 from the current premium of 1.15%.

Larger loans will have a bigger hit. Starting June 1, 2012, FHA loan amounts over $625,500 will have an annual mortgage premium of 1.50%, which is an increase of 0.35%.

The upfront mortgage insurance premium has the largest increase. This is increasing by 0.75%, creating a total upfront premium of 1.75%. This premium can be rolled into the mortgage.

It all means a slightly higher mortgage payment on new FHA loans. To bottom-line an example illustrated in the New York Times, a $200,000 home purchase with 3.5% down, would cost $25 more a month. Not much to panic over, is it?

Concerning credit reports, the FHA will require buyers to resolve any outstanding credit disputes of $1,000 or more on their credit report. There are two exceptions: if the dispute involves a case of identity theft, or the disputed account is more than two years old, they will be exempt from the rule. 

For all other credit disputes, borrowers will either have to pay the remaining balance on the account, or enter into a payment plan, making at least three payments on it. Payment plans will need to be documented and submitted to the FHA. 

Essentially, disputed credit accounts over $1,000 have to be resolved before you can get a mortgage. The FHA has reportedly found a correlation between credit disputes and mortgage defaults. 

While the FHA rule changes will affect some mortgage applicants, well-prepared buyers won't find them to be show-stoppers. We hope this information helps you with your Whittier home buying plans

As your experienced real estate professionals, we can help you have a smooth home buying experience! Work with us when buying your first home. For the latest Whittier market information and real estate listings, contact us today!

The Domis Team
Prudential California Realty
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10 Tips for Selling Your Whittier Home!

by The Domis Team

Are you thinking of selling your Whittier home this spring? The Whittier real estate market is competitive, but there are some basic strategies you can use to make your home stand out. Here are a few examples from Home and Garden TV:

1. Focus on the first impression.Curb appeal counts! Brighten your home’s exterior with inexpensive shrubs and colored flowers.Make sure walkways are in good condition. Your home’s front entrance and foyer should be clean, bright, and fresh. 

2. Be ready to show! Keep your home "show-ready" at all times. It means a little extra housework on a daily basis, but it beats having stressful, last-minute cleaning marathons that turn your household upside down.

3. Your kitchen sells your house. If you’re considering updating any room in the home, this would be the one to invest in.The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware.If your appliances are old, consider replacing them.Countertops that are worn, cracked or stained should also be replaced.

4. Keep it impersonal. There’s a fine line between warm and inviting, and having so many personal photos and keepsakes around that your buyers feel like intruders.Your buyers need to picture themselves living there, and you may need to pack some of your treasures away to accomplish this.

5. Don’t go overboard. Quick fixes pay off, but you don’t want to get carried away and turn your home sale prep into a full-scale renovation. Instead, put a fresh coat of paint on the walls.Replace faded curtains.Replace worn out or stained carpeting. Take care of leaky faucets.Clean the grout.Make sure kitchen drawers and closet doors open and close smoothly.

6. Keep pets and supplies out of sight. For your pet’s safety, and for consideration of allergy-prone buyers, consider boarding your pets at a kennel service for a day, or have them temporarily stay with relatives during a showing.Be sure to clean up pet hair before each showing.Dog dishes, litter boxes and pet toys should be hidden away.

7. Let there be light! Let in as much natural light as possible.Remove the drapes, clean the blinds, and wash the windows.Put in higher-watt bulbs.Update old lamp shades.Bright areas create an impression of space!

8. Remove clutter. Your closets and cabinets shouldn’t be more than half-full.Clutter is enemy #1 in home selling! If your garage has turned into a family warehouse, empty it out.Rent a storage unit if needed; remember that you want a good offer as soon as possible!

9. Use a Whittier real estate professional who understands your needs. The Whittier real estate market is quick-moving, and economic conditions change rapidly. The Domis Team has the local experience and resources you need for a successful home sale!

10. Price it right. Get a market analysis and consider the advice of your Whittier real estate professional. Depending on your needs, you might employ a strategy of pricing your home below the current market value in order to attract immediate attention.Multiple offers can push up your sale price!

If you’re interested in selling your Whittier home, contact us! Our experience and professionalism is your advantage in today’s ever-changing Whittier real estate market.Whether you need a complete marketing plan, or you just have a few questions, we’ll be happy to help you!

The Domis Team
Prudential California Realty
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Have "Beginner's Luck" When Buying Your Whittier Home!

by The Domis Team

Are you a lucky person? With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, it’s a timely question! Luck is often imagined as stumbling upon unearned wealth; reaching prosperity without lifting a finger. Yet the “Luck of the Irish” belonged to those who worked hard, took calculated risks, and remained undaunted by setbacks. In reality, luck happens when preparation meets opportunity!

If you are considering buying your first home in the Whittier, CA area, you can put some “luck” on your side by taking action with your finances!

Start by looking at your credit history. AnnualCreditReport.com will provide you with one free credit report each year. You can obtain your credit score from MyFico.com. The better your credit score is, the better your interest rates will be! These websites also have good information about what goes into your score and how to address problems. If you need help with budgeting or debt management, you can contact our local Consumer Counseling Services.

Next, take a look at your savings. How much you need depends on the type of mortgage you are seeking. An FHA-backed mortgage can have a down payment as small as 3.5%, and allows the use of cash gifts from family. Conventional mortgages can ask for as much as 20% down. If your only source of down payment is a retirement fund, talk to your plan administrator about any penalties that could apply. Whatever the source, determine the minimum down payment you have available.

Now that you have some idea where you stand, talk to a mortgage lender about getting pre-approved for a mortgage. If there are any issues in your own financial picture, it’s best to have them brought to light before you have a deal on the table! Once you know what mortgage amount you qualify for, you can begin searching for your Whittier home with confidence!

To boost your “beginner’s luck” further, work with experienced real estate professionals who know your local market! We’ll keep you up-to-date with the latest Whittier, CA market information, and share new listings as they arrive! We understand all the details involved when buying your first home. Contact us today for friendly home-buying help!

The Domis Team
Prudential California Realty
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Home Inspection Tips for Whittier, CA Home Buyers!

by The Domis Team

Buying a home this spring? You’ll want to make sure there are no surprises around the corner! You can get peace of mind, and protect your wallet, with a pre-purchase inspection of your Whittier home.Here's what you need to know about home inspections!

Unlike real estate agents, home inspectors are not required to be licensed in the State of California.Fortunately, the California Real Estate Inspection Association provides uniform practices for the local industry.

There is also the National Association of Home Inspectors, with professional standards and a code of ethics for members nationwide. 

It’s a good sign if your home inspector belongs to one or more professional associations.However, you should also find out if your home inspector has any outstanding complaints against him with the Better Business Bureau.You may also want to ask for recent references, and verify them, before hiring your home inspector. 

Next, understand what your Whittier home inspection will and will not cover. A home inspection is a visual, non-invasive evaluation of the property.Your inspector will not take anything apart in the home, nor attempt to enter areas that are not openly accessible.Here are the general areas they examine: 

  • Exterior
  • Roofing 
  • Structure
  • Foundation
  • Heating
  • Cooling
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical

There are other tests that may be available at additional cost, such as termite inspections, lead-based paint, mold, radon gas and asbestos.If you have concerns in any of these areas, be sure to request them when scheduling the home inspection, and ask about any additional fees. 

Finally, be present at the inspection and take notes! If there are any repair issues, don’t panic.The home seller may have already disclosed them and factored them into the price.If the seller was not aware of the issues, you should be able to negotiate a solution that is mutually agreeable.

As your professional real estate agents, we know how many details are involved when buying or selling a Whittier home.Our expertise in the Whittier real estate market can help you succeed! There are wonderful homes in Whittier on the market right now, and we’d love to show them to you. Contact us today, we’ll be happy to help you! 

The Domis Team
Prudential California Realty
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Photo of Linda & Ryan Domis - The Domis Team Real Estate
Linda & Ryan Domis - The Domis Team
Keller Williams Realty
16310 E. Whittier Blvd. Suite F
Whittier CA 90603
Cell: 562-884-5373
Cell:562-458-6947
Fax: 562.902.5158
The Domis Team Real Estate, Whittier, La Habra, Orange County Homes for Sale The Domis Team Real Estate, Whittier, La Habra, Orange County Homes for Sale The Domis Team Real Estate, Whittier, La Habra, Orange County Homes for Sale The Domis Team Real Estate, Whittier, La Habra, Orange County Homes for Sale

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Linda Domis - DRE #00571375 | Ryan Domis - DRE #01969771
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