Monday, April 27, 2009

Look Mom, I'm on TV!

This week I was honored to be interviewed by CreaTV, comcast channel 15. I was asked many questions on subjects such as the stimulus package, buying a foreclosure, market updates and divorce real estate questions. If you're interested, it will air in San Jose and Campbell on Wednesday 4/29/09 at 8:30 on Comcast channel 15. I will also appear in another segment the following Wednseday. Go ahead and watch so you can get an inside scoop and tell me what you think. I'd love your feedback! The same show will air in Los Gatos and Monte Soreno (same time, same day of week) but Comcast says it will be about 4 weeks from now.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Strategy to Lower your Monthly Payment

When buying a home, most people try to negotiate to get the lowest price while some negotiate to get the lowest payment. What's the difference you ask? If you lower you sales price your monthly payment will certainly drop. But if you use a "loan rate buy-down" strategy your monthly payment will drop even more. I have reviewed this with several mortgage professionals and the concensus is clear. If you ask the seller to pay your closing costs so you can a lower your interest rate (pay your loan "points") you will save 7 times more in your monthly payment than you would have saved if you asked for the same amount in a price reduction. This is after taking into account changes in property taxes as well! Lenders are offering very low cost rate buy-downs compared to what they have historically charged. But there's another benefit to the buyer. Qualifying for your loan will be easier. Make sure to have your agent articulate the benefits to the seller so they understand what they have to gain as well. Happy house hunting!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Divorce Real Estate - HELOC's

When it comes to a divorce with real estate involved here's one thing I would recommend. If you ever had a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) on your home, go to the bank to make sure it's closed. I have found that many couples will pay down a HELOC after borrowing against their home, but if BOTH spouses don't go to the bank and sign to close it, it remains open. So who cares? Well, if one spouse leaves the home and still has the ability to use the HELOC like an ATM machine (which they can do without the other's knowledge) this will only complicate matters. I know it's hard, but for your own sake, try to be collaborative and work together. Good Luck.