Blog with MAE Capital


When you’re ready to sell your home, you may think about upgrades that will attract buyers. As nice as it is to have all the best features, what’s even more important is for your home to be clean, clutter-free, and staged for wide appeal. This advice may sound obvious, but it’s a process that’s often easier said than done. That’s why we’re here to walk you through prepping your home for sale so it's easier and affordable.

 

Why Stage Your Home?

 

A home is more than just a structure — it’s a place that reflects your style and feels like you. The problem is that you want potential buyers to walk in and feel like they could be at home there. Staging is the process that removes personal items and clutter while highlighting the home’s best features. When you stage your home right, the result is a boost in the number of buyers who want to see more — and who will pay top dollar.

 

Start with a Plan

 

The best plan of action is to tackle it one room at a time, and maybe even use a guide so you don’t overlook anything. Make sure you have all the supplies you need too, like boxes, tape, markers for labeling, and trash bags. This is the perfect time to sort through your belongings so you don’t move anything you no longer need or use. In the process, you will naturally end up packing, donating, or trashing some of the clutter you need to get rid of.

 

Cut the Clutter

 

You may think of clutter as junk mail lying on the counter, but for home buyers, clutter is really anything that makes a space look crowded, small, or that detracts from it in any way. The Huffington Post explains that this is why decluttering to stage your home should be all about taking a less is more approach. Besides the obvious things (like the mail on the counter), pay special attention to decluttering these areas:

 

Storage Spaces

We tend to focus on the wide-open spaces and surfaces when decluttering, but buyers will also look in, under, and around just about everything. This is why Apartment Therapy recommends cleaning all storage spaces, including closets, shelves, sheds, and cabinets. Everyone wants lots of storage space, and keeping these areas neat and clutter-free is how you give the impression that there is plenty of space available.

 

Furniture

Everyone wants their home to be livable, and that often means having lots of furniture for seating and storage. The problem is that buyers are going to notice how large and open a space feels — not how much furniture it can hold. This is why you may need to remove some furniture so that your home has an open and airy vibe. The furniture you do leave should be set up the way it would be used and around a focal point. An inexpensive idea from Forbes is to set up a bar or dining room table for entertaining so buyers will picture having their own meals there.

 

Decor Should be Tasteful, Not Personal

The great thing about staging is that when you focus on the less is more perspective, you realize that you can achieve this goal without spending a lot of money. After all, you’re ultimately taking away more than you’re adding. For example, you can free up wall space by removing personal items like family photos. Then all you really need to add back is tasteful art and mirrors to give the room a lighter and larger feel.

 

Spruce Up Outdoors

Decluttering and depersonalizing inside is necessary, but don’t forget about outdoor spaces. The outside of your home is where first impressions are made. Fortunately, you can get curb appeal by doing a little yard work and a few easy, inexpensive DIY projects.

 

These projects are seemingly small, but sometimes the smallest changes can make the biggest difference. Getting your home ready to sell requires a whole different mindset. This is why it’s all about decluttering and lightening up so buyers see its full potential.

For more information of selling a house click here.

Article by: Natalie Jones

Photo credit: Pixabay

Posted by Gregg Mower on October 10th, 2019 10:26 AM

If you have never purchased a home before you are reading the right article.  This blog will give you some tips and show you the transaction flow of a typical Real Estate transaction.  These are the steps and the tips that will help you move smoothly through the process.

  1. Down Payment Requirement: Unless you are a Veteran you will need a minimum of 3.5% of the purchase price for a down payment, if you have more to put down great. If you put more than 20% of the purchase price as a down payment you will not have mortgage insurance in your monthly payment. If you are a Veteran, thank you for your service, and you will need no money to put down on a home. Know also that your Agent will ask you to put a earnest money deposit upfront when you make an offer on a home. The earnest money deposit goes towards your overall down payment requirement. If you are a veteran you could get that money back when the transaction closes, but make sure your lender know this upfront.

     

  2. Getting Qualified for the Home Loan: The next step you will need to be approved for your home loan unless you have cash to buy the house without a loan which most fist time home buyers do not. To prepare for this you will need to gather income items and bank account information. More specifically you will need to provide your lender with current pay-statements for the last 30 days, and you W2s for the last 2 years. You will need to provide tax returns if you are self-employed in any capacity such as a hairdresser or an independent contractor. You will need to provide your last 2 months of bank statements, investment statements, and retirement account statements to show where the money is coming from for your down payment. If you are getting a gift for you down payment you will need to provide a gift letter from the person gifting you the money and you will need to get a bank statement from them showing where that money is coming from. You will need to provide the lender with a valid picture ID as well. With this information your lender will be able to qualify you for a loan amount and a sales price and provide you with a letter of approval. Here at MAE Capital Real Estate and Loan we do all this for you.

     

  3. Shopping for your Home: After you have been approved for a loan amount and a sales price you now can start looking for home in your price range. It is highly recommended that you obtain a Real Estate Agent that works for you. This means that you want to have an Agent that does not represent the seller of the home you are interested in buying. I know we live in a digital world now where you can shop for house online, which is great as you get to see what is on the market in the area you wish to live in. It is not so great for you to use the Agent who also represents the seller as Real Estate law states that an Agent must look after the seller’s best interests first. Having your own Agent does not cost you a thing either, that is the best part, as when you buy a house the seller will your Agent from total commission already negotiated.

     

  4. Making an Offer on a House: Once you have found the perfect house in your price range you will want to make an offer to the seller to purchase their home. Your Agent will do this for you all you have to do is tell them what you would like to offer on the house. Your Agent should be able to tell you if there are any other offer that the seller has already received and the strategy that you should take to get the house. A good Buyer’s Agent will know exactly what to do in the market you are looking in. You should listen to the Agent as their advice at this stage can save you money and get you the house. The Agent will prepare all the paperwork and you will sign it, usually it will be done in digital signature form sent to you in your email where all you have to do is open and click. Once you have done this the Agent submits the offer to the seller. Be prepared to go back and forth if you have offered lower than the asking price. Once you have agreed on a price with the seller you now are in contract to purchase the house.

     

  5. Inspections: After your offer has become accepted by the seller you are officially “in contract” and within the contract are dates that all the buyer’s inspections must be done by. Your Agent will know the people that can get these inspections done for you in the times set forth in the contract. Inspections are very important especially for a First Time Buyer that may not know anything about houses and how they are constructed. These inspections will tell you the life of things in the home and the condition and if they need repairs. The pest inspection tells you not only if the house has termites or bugs it also tells you the condition of all the wood surfaces inside and out. You roof inspection will tell you the useful life left on the roof and if it needs any repairs. As a First Time Home Buyer you don’t want to buy a house that will require thousands of dollars of repairs after you buy it. Once you have received these inspections you will go over them with your Agent and they will recommend what, if any, work they want the seller to complete before you buy the house. Sometimes Sellers don’t want to do any work and it will your responsibility if you buy the house and sometimes sellers will do all the work you request them to do.

     

  6. Closing: Once all the inspections and work has been done on the house and the lender has everything they need and the loan has been formally approved they will issue a closing disclosure called the “CD” with a summary of the fees in the transaction and the final amount of money you have to bring to the closing Agent. You will have 3 days to review the fees and if they are not acceptable this is the time to get that fixed. If everything is OK on the CD you will have to wait 3 days before you can sign your final loan documents with a Notary. During this time you will have an accurate date to which you will own the house so take this time to move utilities, and set up people to help you move in.

 

This process is the same for every house you will purchase.  It looks an sounds complicated but your team at MAE Capital Real Estate and Loan we will walk you though the process and tell you what you have to do and when you have to do it by.  We try really hard to make a complicated process fairly easy.  We look forward to assisting you with your home buying needs.  Call us today at 916-672-6130 or click here to have one of our team members call you.

Posted by Gregg Mower on September 6th, 2019 2:56 PM

Buying a house is a goal for many people in the United States, with some 79 percent of those surveyed agreeing that homeownership is part of the American dream. There’s no doubt that this is a monumental life event — and the hefty financial investment it requires reflects its significance. If you are purchasing real estate, you want to make sure the property you receive is in great condition. To assure this, part of the buying process involves determining the type of repairs the structure requires. You can even ask the seller to cover certain maintenance works. Find out how it works below.

 

Review the Disclosure Documentation

 

So-called “disclosure laws” require the seller to reveal problems related to the property, such as a leaky roof. This involves the seller filling out template documents answering a series of yes-or-no questions. Topics covered include former renovations and home improvements, as well as any past defects, property line disputes, and pest infestations. This list of disclosure laws by state will help you determine what the paperwork in your area should cover.

 

Check the disclosure forms against city building and zoning reports for the property. If the seller completed improvements without the proper permit or municipal approval, for example, then these may not have been done according to health and safety codes. There are also financial aspects to review; for instance, if the home was repossessed in bankruptcy proceedings in the past, you want to be sure the seller (and not the bank) is the rightful owner according to the property title.

 

Schedule a Home Inspection

 

A home inspection is needed to check for additional issues. Hire a third-party inspector to review diverse property components, including the roof and HVAC system. They will produce a written report detailing any red flags, such as mold in the basement. As the buyer, you are responsible for bearing the costs of a home inspection. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost is $278 to $390 — but this is just for the report. If problems arise, you also need to factor in repairs. A new furnace can easily cost over $13,000, for example.

 

There are some renovations that you should simply resign yourself to covering as the buyer. Cosmetic issues, for example, are not something you should demand the seller cover. If the deck needs staining, kitchen tiles are cracked, or paint is nicked, handle these improvements yourself once you've moved in. Outdoor landscaping and fence repairs are also something you can add to your own “to do” list. However, there are some elements that you can ask the seller to cover, as discussed in the next section.

 

Negotiate with the Seller on Select Repairs

 

Major home inspection items to bring up with the seller include water drainage problems, wildlife infestations, elevated radon levels, and significant plumbing impediments that interfere with the home's day-to-day use. This list from Clever includes more such points, like lead paint and a leaking roof. When these problems turn up, you should ask the seller to cover them. If the seller is to cover improvements, this needs to be confirmed in writing.

 

When negotiating costs, you can ask the seller to cover repairs up front or request that they reduced the home's sales price, leaving you with the extra funds needed to undertake repairs. This latter option has the advantage of giving you full agency over who does the work. Any larger issues that affect the house's overall safety — such as asbestos removal — should be a priority and addressed before you move in.

 

The above pointers will help you determine which problems exist with a property before you have invested money in it. Unfortunately, a lack of agreement between buyer and seller regarding repairs can lead to a deal falling through. Even major problems in the home inspection may be grounds to keep looking. Don’t get discouraged: You want your dream home to be safe for you and your family. This guide assures your peace of mind.  Please fine more information at https://www.maecapital.com/RealEstate or call us and we can help you with all aspects of buying a home.

Article by: Natalie Jones

 

Photo Credit: Pexels

Posted by Gregg Mower on August 14th, 2019 10:24 AM


It is summer and the home improvement projects are heating up.   Weather you are replacing your kitchen or refinancing your home to a lower interest rate this summer seems to be the time to get these projects done.  The economy is doing great and you are pretty secure with your job, or jobs if you are a 2-income family.  With the economy strong and employment being as strong as it is you should feel comfortable with your financial situation.  You may have projects around the house that need your attention that you have been putting off due to finances or time.  It’s probably is not a better time to get started than now.  If you need to do major projects like a kitchen or bathrooms or even adding on to the square footage and you need money to do it, you probably have the equity in your house or the money your bank account to get this done now. 

If you have decided to remodel your existing home, you will not only be making your home more pleasant to live in, but you will be increasing the value of your home.  If you remodel your kitchen your home could go up 1.5 times the cost to remodel to remodel.  For example, if you pay $30,000 to remodel your kitchen your home would probably increase in value by $45,000 depending on your area, of course.  If you plan on selling after remodeling you will make your home more desirable and will sell on the upper end of the market.  This holds true with bathrooms as well. 

If you re-do you front yard this too will increase the value of your home as it would be more desirable to potential buyers as it is the first part of your home a buyer will see.  A fresh coat of paint makes the curb appeal greater as well.  The back yard is not as important to potential home buyers as it is the last thing people see when looking at homes.  Also, most home buyers will want to put their own personal touch on the backyard anyway.  So, if you are looking to do projects that increase value of your home do the back yard last.  But if you are living in your “Forever Home” a backyard remodel may be just what your family needs. 

Anything you do to your home to make your space more appealing to you is invaluable as this is where you live every day.  In this Real Estate Market know that the money you put into your home will probably stay in your home, at least for the next several years.  I see no major slow down in the Real Estate Market, as far as values goes, for the next several years.  Next Year is an election year and typically the Real Estate Market slows down in anticipation of the what the next administration will do to their employment situation.  I will not predict the outcome of this election, but whoever is elected you will have at least a year after they are elected to screw up the economy, or keep the same course of the current economy.  Whatever the outcome there are at least 2 years of a good Real Estate Market. 

In addition to a strong Real Estate Market Interest Rates have remained low.  So, if you need money to remodel your home now is the time to borrow the money to do it.  The neat thing about a remodel is that your home will generally increase by at least the cost of the remodel and in most cases the value will increase by even more than the cost of a remodel.   With interest rates as low as they are you might not even raise your monthly payment at all by borrowing the costs of the remodel.  How is that possible you ask?  If you bought your home originally with an FHA loan and have a 4.875% rate say 4 years ago the value of your home may have increased to the point where you do not require Mortgage Insurance so when you refinance today with a conventional Loan for say 4.125% with no mortgage insurance the additional money you took may actually keep the payment about the same as it was with your old loan. 

Remodeling your home or just doing simple improvements will not only make your home a better place for you to reside it will increase the value of your home.  Coupled with a low interest rate environment your home, if you were to sell it, would probably surprise you in how much it would sell for.  Or if you have no desire to sell but to make your place more livable for you and your family you will have peace of mind that every dollar you put into your home is still there in the equity of your home.  If you have questions or wish to see these numbers in action, we are here to help.  If you are simply looking to refinance to a lower interest rate, please give us a call we would love the opportunity to assist you.  One of our Loan Officers or Realtors can answer your questions today at www.maecapital.com or call at 916-672-6130

Posted by Gregg Mower on July 22nd, 2019 12:05 PM

The Real Estate business has been done the same way for decades and the only thing that has changed is how we deliver information to our clients.  The internet has made the business easier without a doubt, in the way we can see homes for sale and do research on neighborhoods and schools and crimes in specific areas.  The invention of digital documents has helped with signatures and the delivery of necessary disclosures to our clients.  However, the core business model has not changed for most Real Estate firms.  That model is to market to your clients and potential clients for their business, ascertain what they wish to do buy or sell, then have your clients contact a lender for pre-approval for a mortgage.  Then once the Agent knows how much their client can afford, they then start searching the MLS for homes in their client’s desired area and price range.  Or for listings they determine how much they can afford for their next home, as to not sell a home with no possibility of their client buying another one, in most cases.  If they are working with a home buyer or when the seller becomes a home buyer upon the sale of their existing home, they then find properties in the area they wish to be in knowing what they qualify for from the client’s lender.  Once a property has been identified as a property their client wishes to make an offer on the Agent then contacts the lender for a letter of qualification to be submitted with their offer to purchase.  When the offer is accepted the documentation has to be disseminated to the lender and the Escrow/Title Company and the lender.  Then the Agent arranges inspections and the lender sends out disclosures and orders the appraisal the Escrow/Title company orders the preliminary title report.  When the documentation comes in it has to be shared with all involved.  The Agent will periodically check with the lender for progress reports, but has no say at all in the loan, and the Loan Officer will give updates to all but has no say in the Real Estate transaction at all and may not know if things have changed with the disposition of the property and or contract and inspections.  When the lender has completed their process, they send the legal Loan Documents to the Escrow/Title Company for the buyer and seller to sign.  After everyone has signed and all the monies have been accounted for the loan funds the transaction closes and all the service providers get paid.  This is the way Real Estate Transaction have been done since the beginning of modern times.

When you read this transaction flow you see there a several people and companies involved in making a Real Estate transaction close.  When you have that many people, they all need to be paid and that is why it is so expensive to buy or sell a house.  When you sell a house, you will pay an Agent or Agents, I most cases, 5 or 6% of the sales price and that is well worth not having the liability as a seller alone in the transaction.  A highly qualified Agent will make that money back in many ways such as piece of mind that all the laws of selling your home are being met and all the required disclosures and inspections have been completed and done correctly.  In many cases a good agent will price your home and market your home so that you get the highest and best price for your home thus making you more money than you probably could have trying to sell it on your own or using a cut rate internet real estate firm where you have to do most of the work.  When you are the home buyer in a Real Estate transaction your Agent is paid by the seller out of the 5-6% commission that has been pre-set when the listing was originally taken.  The commission to a buyer’s Agent is usually split between the listing Agent and the Selling Agent (the Agent representing the buyer).   Why this is important I will get to in a bit.

When you work with a lender, in a traditional Real Estate Transaction, they are independent of the Real Estate Company and they get paid from the fees charged and rebates from the Interest rate on the loan.  This may be confusing but usually a lender will make between 2 and 3% of the loan amount to keep it simple.  Again, I will tie this in as to the importance of who gets paid what later.  Remember in the transaction that the lender orders all their own disclosures orders the appraisal and has to communicate to all the Agents and title company.  The lender also needs most of the documents that the Agent has signed such as the contract and any inspections the Agents have had done all the while keeping the Escrow/Title company informed of the progress. 

As you can see the typical Real Estate Transaction still has many inefficiencies and redundancies in the typical transaction.  I offer, as a solution to efficiency, to merge some of these functions together to make the transaction smoother and more cost efficient.  I would merge the Real Estate and the Loan Functions together in order to be more transparent with the information in the transaction.  This would cut time frames down and the client would only have to make one phone call to get the status of the loan and the Real Estate.  This would cut out any miscommunications with the inspections as all eyes could offer advice as the inspections come in.  Not to mention, prior to the contract being written the Agent and the Loan Officer are under the same roof so an efficient plan can be put together to benefit the buyer in an approach to making an offer that will get the buyer the best deal possible coupled with the best financing.  If the Agent also is representing the seller and the buyer and the loan things can really be done efficiently. 

Picture this, as a home buyer, you make one call to a company and you get your home loan pre-approved and you are looking at houses that same day.  Then when you make an offer on a home your Agent and Loan officer already have made a strategic plan for you in the office they both work in, or they are one and the same person.  When you make the offer there is no worry about the financing as your Agent has seen everything the Loan Officer has and vise versa.   In addition, your loan officer is not tied to one lender he or she can find the best financing sources across the country saving you even more money.  The Loan officer can offer tips with financing to negotiate a better price on the home.   Some of the commission from the sale, that we talked about earlier, can be used to buy down the loan interest rate and fees.  Remember the 5-6% commission the seller splits with the buyer’s Agent and the Seller’s Agent, well some of that commission can be used to get you a lower interest rate thus a lower payment. The additional monies can be used to lower your loan costs as well.  If you have the same office collecting 5-6% on both the loan and the Real Estate Commission the company can afford to give back money so that you as a buyer get a lower interest rate and a lower monthly payment than you would have got buy using an Agent from separate firm as the Loan Officer.  The trading of information will also speed up the transaction and make it far more efficient.  As a Home buyer you would only have to meet at one office or talk to the same office to get all your information and within the office the loan and the Real Estate transaction are being completed at the same time under the exact terms of the contract with both the Agent and the loan officer working together and in some cases if the Agent is a Broker he or she can do both the Real Estate and the Loan.

An Example will look like this:  A First time home buyer contacts the Real Estate and Loan Firm and wants to buy a house.  The Agent prequalifies the buyer over the phone or computer and gives them a list of items they need to become fully approved for the home loan. The Agent can run credit and run the information through automated underwriting and receive the approval with the client still on the phone.  The Agent then can determine from the client where they wish to live and provide current listings in that area for the client to view.  The client can ask to see specific houses and the Agent can then arrange to show them with the sellers.  Knowing the client needs and financing options the Agent can make an offer that is the best for the client and provide the approval to the seller with the offer thus making the client's offer more attractive than other offers they may have received.  The client throughout the process only needs to make one call as does the Agent. The agent can get the Loan information and the Real Estate information at the same time. On the other side of the transaction the listing Agent only needs to make one call to get everything they need to keep the seller informed. The Buyer's Agent finds the best lender in the country for their client getting them the lowest interest rate possible as well as contributing to their closing costs lowering their rate and monthly payment.  The buyer gets into their house with very little running around and stress of the transaction. Everyone wins.    

This may sound like utopia, but it is reality here at MAE Capital Real Estate and Loan.  We have perfected this system and we are saving our client thousands of dollars when we represent them as their Realtor and their Lender.  We can save home sellers thousands as well when we represent them as the seller of their home and find their next home for them and do the financing.  The efficiency in bundling these services in incredible and saves our clients thousands of dollars and countless hours tracking down their Agents and Loan Officer.  If you would like to see this in action, please give us a call at 916-672-6130 or click here to email us. We are looking forward to showing you this incredible modern system. 

Posted by Gregg Mower on June 13th, 2019 12:42 PM

Here is an interesting topic as I fit the category myself.  Hopefully once you have made it to the ripe old age of 50 you still have good health and are financially grounded.  Financially grounded means that you have taken the proper steps for saving for retirement that is looming, in the not too distant future.  This also includes college for you kids and any future weddings or large expenses that are to be incurred.  You may not be rich by any stretch, but you have done what it takes for your family to be secure.  It is time to protect your assets.

So, lets take a look at your home, it may only be the one piece of real estate you have ever owned and you have paid it down substantially over the years.  Now you hear the commercials advertising using your equity for things like college and weddings and large family expenses.  Is this prudent or a play from mortgage companies to sell you additional financing?  Having been in the Mortgage Business for the last 35 years I can tell you it is a play for your business.  However, if you need the money and it is the only way then you do have it at your disposal.  My advice would be, even though I am in the business of selling you that loan, is to really evaluate your finances and see if there are other ways to get the funds you need.  I say this as you home is your family’s shelter the place where your kids grew up and to put additional financing on it may put it in jeopardy. 

How could financing a home when I am over 50 jeopardize my home, I have a good job?  This is a good question and can be answered by those that have come before you.  50 doesn’t mean that you are not capable of working or staring at your death bed what it does mean is that you no longer will have the energy to keep up with 20 and 30 somethings in the work force.  Large employers have traditionally let go people over 50 to make room for the younger more energetic workers.  I am not saying this will happen to you but to guard what you have attained in life is important.  If something like a loss of a job or an illness were to happen it is a lot harder to find a new job so protecting your assets is super important, even more so when you are over 50. 

In addition, if you have been in the private work force your entire career you may not have built the retirement that you may need to have when it comes time to retirement.  Your home can be used to assist in retirement if the is the case.  When you are over 62 and have equity in your home you can utilize a reverse mortgage to use the equity for additional income or erase your monthly mortgage payment so the income you do have doesn’t need to go to a mortgage payment.  You can’t get a reverse mortgage unless you have enough equity (generally you would need about 30-50% equity depending on your age).  So, if you mortgage your house to pay for stuff in your 50’s you may not have enough equity to get a reverse mortgage in the future.  Another reason why you need to evaluate your finances when getting any financing when you are over 50. 

Reaching the age of 50 and being financially stable is a great accomplishment and you don’t want to jeopardize your finances at this age.  When evaluating your mortgage when you are over 50 and you have windfall like an inheritance or an insurance claim you may want to consider paying down your mortgage. This I have done for my clients a lot lately and it is a financially smart move.  As an example; a 54 year old receives an inheritance and she owes $300,000 on her current home loan with 20 years left to go.  She gets an inheritance of $400,000 and she already is financially stable with a good paying job.  She may elect to pay off the existing loan, or pay it down, or refinance the existing loan to a lower balance and lower payment with a lower term of the loan.   This would be a financially prudent thing to do as she would save tens of thousands of dollars in interest and have a lower payment to allow her to save even more monthly. 

Being over 50 and financing stuff should be done with care to make sure you are not risking your home and your assets.  Here at MAE Capital Mortgage we can do all the numbers for you and help with the planning of your future.  If you are looking for a Reverse Mortgage, we also provide those to our clients and deliver the most aggressive programs available on the market today.  As with any financial moves you make you should also consult your Tax consultant or Financial planner to make sure you are making the right decisions with your finances.  We are here to help so if you have questions or please give us a call at 916-672-6130.

Posted by Gregg Mower on May 22nd, 2019 3:48 PM

This is an interesting dilemma, to stage or not to stage?  Staging is not for every property but if you have a nice home and want to get top dollar this is something I would strongly recommend.  For those of you that don’t know what staging is, it is when an outside company that specializes in making your house look modern, clean and up to date through the use of furniture and accessories.  The staging process starts before you list your home for sale.  An expert will come to your house and see how many bedrooms and bathrooms you have and will measure the rooms.  The stager will be an interior design expert and will get an idea of the flow of the house as well as the style of the house.  

Once the Stager has completed the measurements and taken pictures, he or she will devise a plan for furniture and accessories that will accentuate your house.  Mind you that you will have to completely take out all of your furniture and stuff from the home and have it cleaned.  The stager will give you a price based on the size of your home and also offer suggestions of what you may be able to leave so it can be used it may be just a few items or nothing at all.  The price will range from $2,000-$3,500 based on the size of your home.  This will have to be paid for before the Stager does anything, so put this in your budget for selling.

The price may seem like a lot of money with no guarantee that your house will sell, but with the right Agent from MAE Capital Real Estate and Loan it will be priced right to the attention of potential buyers.  We have done this many times and every time it has been done the house has sold for more than the list price.  We can’t guarantee that will happen every time but it sure will give your home an edge on other homes for sale in the same area.  The homes we have sold that have been staged have sold on average of only being on the market for 5 days or less.  The track record we have of homes that have been staged and those that have not been is far better than you would expect.  

The Staging company we use is second to none in the Greater Sacramento and Placer County area.  Not only to they do all the set up they also provide us with professional Photos to put in in the MLS listing.   The presentation from the inside of the home both in person and on the internet is second to none.  As you know most home buyers will start their home search online to see homes that are appealing to them.  The interior of the house will look so good that they will most all the time put a staged home on their list of homes to see for their Realtor.  Staging will make your home look like a model home and buyers will see a staged home more favorably as the stager has strategically put minimal amount of furniture in a room to make it appear bigger than it is and since there is no clutter a potential buyer will be able to see the house arranged with furniture so they can see that everything they need will fit.   

Although staging is not for everyone it is strongly recommended if you can get all of your personal belongings out of the house before you put it on the market.  If you are living in the home and have to have your furniture in the home to live a stager can come out to your home and suggest that you put all the clutter in storage and give suggestions on what to leave and they can make your home show worthy with your own stuff in some cases.  If nothing else a professional stager consultation may be worth the money just to get suggestions and the cost for a consultation is just a few hundred dollars and could make you thousands of dollars in the sale of the house by just doing some simple tricks to get your home ready for sale.   In the end our Agents at MAE Capital Real Estate and Loan can set up the appointment with our stager to give you suggestions before you sell your home.  In today’s Real Estate Market you need every edge on your competition you can get.  In addition, we will help you with the costs of staging if you bundle our services with the sale and purchase of your next home or the loan on the next home or all 3.   Doing business with MAE Capital will save you thousands of dollars and we are here waiting to show the tips and tricks to get top dollar from selling your home and buying your next home.   Call us today at 916-672-6130 or click here for a free consultation.  

Posted by Gregg Mower on May 7th, 2019 7:01 PM

 

Aging in place is becoming a norm rather than an exception. About 76 percent of people over the age of 50 want to remain at home for their senior years, according to AARP. Aging in place tends to give people a higher quality of life, but also comes with its fair share of risks. Did you know that an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall every 11 seconds? Fortunately, many fall injuries are preventable. Here are some critical steps you can take to protect your well-being while aging in place. 

 Start an Exercise Routine Today

 Keeping your body strong, balanced, and flexible is critical for protecting yourself from injury. Get an early start to keep your body resilient. This will help prevent muscle loss and maintain joint mobility as you grow older. In fact, a recent study revealed that long-term exercise significantly reduces the risk that an older adult will experience a fall. Research suggests that about three hours of weekly exercise is your best bet. Exercise at home or head to the gym — it’s your choice! If you're a Medicare subscriber, you may be eligible to access 13,000 nationwide fitness centers through the SilverSneakers fitness program. Certain Humana Medicare Advantage plans include this benefit. So, consider switching your plan during the Medicare enrollment period if you're not already enjoying this valuable perk.

 Engage in the Right Types of Exercise

 Not all forms of exercise are equal. While aerobic activity has amazing benefits for your heart, digestive system, and mental health, strength training may be the most important when it comes to fall prevention. Core muscle strength will catch you when you start to stumble. If you’re new to weightlifting, talk to your doctor before you begin. Start slow — using your body weight or resistance bands at first — and work your way up to heavier weights as your muscles grow stronger. You can try some of these senior-friendly resistance exercises to get started.

 Balance and flexibility exercises will also improve your stability and reduce your risk of falls. Static stretches (held for 20 to 30 seconds) and dynamic stretches (moving stretches) have surprisingly positive effects on overall mobility. This list of stretches from Yurielkaim includes examples of both static and dynamic stretches that are good for seniors. Additionally, try yoga or tai chi for an excellent combination of flexibility and balance practice. These activities are also wonderfully meditative!

 Make Some Home Modifications

 In addition to key lifestyle changes, you can further prevent falls while aging in place by making some home modifications. Start by clearing clutter from your home and giving each item you own a special storage place. This will prevent things from ending up on the floor and becoming tripping hazards. Remove slippery area rugs and use rubber-backed non-slip rugs in your kitchen and bathroom. Lighting that is too dim or too bright can also be a problem, so set up night lights to illuminate paths you may need to walk at night and install dimmer switches throughout your home. Use curtains to block out disorienting glare from the sun. Also, grab bars by your toilet, bath, and bed can be very helpful.

 If Finances are a problem to do the home improvements consider a Reverse Mortgage to utilize the equity in your home to fund these modifications.  With a Reverse Mortgage you can use the equity and never make a payment until you move from the residence. 

 Finally, pay attention to your clothing. Clothes that are too tight may restrict your blood flow and make you lightheaded, while clothing that is too loose can catch on items as you navigate your home. Avoid loose-fitting shoes or those with slippery soles. Try to find shoes that fit comfortably and support your feet properly.

 Install Life-Saving Technology

 Don’t let your home modifications stop there. Technology can help you get assistance more quickly if you do have an accident in the home. Smart shoes, tracking devices, and fall detection, as well as automated lights and thermostats, will help you maintain your independence and safety while living in your own house.

 As with every aspect of health, preventing falls will take some preventive effort. Maintain your muscle strength and flexibility, take special precautions, remain aware of your surroundings, and remove anything from your environment that could become a hazard. By reducing your risk of falls, you’re securing a future for yourself in which you have the independence and confidence you need to live in the home you love.

 Take the Financial Worry Out of Staying in Your Home

 Don’t let the financial worry of the home effect your health.  Money worries can cause health problems.  As the price of goods and services continue to rise the income of seniors may not keep up with the rising costs of living and this can cause undo stress and lead to health issues.  A Reverse Mortgage from MAE Capital Mortgage Inc. may the answer.  These mortgages have come a long way over the last 30 years.  The extra income generated from a Reverse Mortgage may be the difference every month in being able to live and enjoy the retirement years instead of worrying about the rising costs of goods and services and medical expenses.   There are protections built into these loans to insure the seniors will be able to leave their home to hires when they are gone.  

Taking some of these steps will ensure that the “Golden Years” are, in fact, Golden.  Here at MAE Capital Real Estate and Loan we know the value of our senior population and hope to make all lives better with our services. 

 

Special Thanks to Natalie Jones for the majority of content of this article
Posted by Gregg Mower on April 11th, 2019 11:22 AM


So What is the difference between a Mortgage Broker (Like MAE Capital Real Estate and Loan) and a Banker or Direct Lender?  The obvious difference is that a Mortgage Broker has a smaller firm than the larger Bankers and Banks.  As you have learned in life bigger isn’t always better and in this comparison you would be correct.  Both types companies will appear to be the same with licensed Loan Officers, however, the big difference is in the interest rates which we will address shortly.  A Mortgage Broker is also required to hold both an NMLS license and a California Department of Real Estate (DRE) License whereas a Banker will only hold an NMLS license.  With both licenses a Mortgage Broker will most likely have more knowledge of the Real Estate transaction than a Banker as they have to maintain their Licenses with both agencies and take continuing education for both Real Estate and Loans.  That in it of itself shows that level of knowledge you will get from a Broker will be superior, but there are even more reasons to use your local Mortgage Broker than a Banker or Direct lender.


When shopping for a home loan even your Realtor may not know the differences between a Broker and Banker, so even if they recommend a Loan Officer to you, because they have used them in the past, you should do your research as you might be able to save yourself thousands of dollars.  Your Agent may think a direct lender is a better deal for you as they underwrite their own loans “in house”, but the fact is it might be in the Realtor’s best interests not yours. “In House Underwriting” sounds sexy, however, in today’s automated world every Loan Officer be it from a Banker/Direct lender or a Mortgage Broker has the same automated underwriting systems available to every underwriter.  So when you apply for a loan with either a Big Banker or a Small independent Mortgage Broker they all have the same access to an underwriter or underwriting systems.   So the myth of having your own underwriter as a selling point is just that a myth and what happens when their underwriters have a bad day, you pay the price.  A Mortgage Broker can deliver your loan file to several different underwriters that will have different rules and guidelines to get your loan approved.   Technology has improved so much that all of the paperwork necessary to process a loan can be uploaded and transmitted to an underwriter instantly and that underwriter can make a decision quickly and if a Banker’s Underwriter declines your file you are done with them.  If a Mortgage Broker submits your file to an underwriter and they decline it a Broker can take your file to another underwriter without you having to gather all your information again and again.  Most underwriters today use either the Federal National Mortgage Association’s or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac) automated underwriting systems to underwrite traditional home loans and those same systems are available to all Loan Officers either from a Large Banker/Direct Lender or a Small Mortgage Broker.

You may say that all of that is good but all I care about is getting the lowest monthly payment and the lowest costs.  Although both a Banker and a Broker inevitably get their interest rates from the same sources it is how much that is charged by the company that makes the difference in interest rates and fees that are quoted to you from lender to lender.  We have already discussed earlier that Bankers have bigger and shinier offices than that of Brokers and with that comes a larger overhead and more expenses than that of a smaller Mortgage Broker.  That all has to be paid for and they do that in the form of higher interest rate and fees.  The smaller firms like MAE Capital Real Estate and Loan can keep that overhead low thus being able to offer a lower interest rate and lower fees and can save you thousands of dollars upfront and monthly.  

In addition, the regulator in California for Bankers is the Department of Business Oversight (DBO) and they have different laws then that of the Department of Real Estate (DRE) who regulate Mortgage Brokers.   We talked earlier about Bankers having a larger overhead and expenses than that of a Mortgage Broker and thus the need to make more profit per loan closed for the company than that of a Mortgage Broker but what exactly does that mean?  The Direct lender has to pay more staff, more rent, more insurances making their costs much higher than that of a Mortgage Broker and their Regulator, the DBO, knows this so the Banker has no limit on the amount they can add to the interest rates and fees to maintain their profitability .    A Mortgage Broker, on the other hand, is limited to a maximum of 3% of the loan amount they can make on any one loan from the DRE.  A Direct lender does not have that limitation and they can charge what they want to be profitable costing you money.   The Mortgage Broker has to keep their overhead as low as possible being limited by law on how much they can charge is your benefit with lower interest rates and fees. 

Having been on both sides of the fence I understand completely how this process works and will tell you that you will save thousands by working with a company like MAE Capital Real Estate and Loan.  Every Loan we close is a testimony to this as the client’s rates and fees are significantly lower than that of a Banker on every loan transaction.  As a Mortgage Broker we can also offer other loan products that a Banker can’t such as Private Money Loans for investors, Certain Bank Statement only loans to qualify borrowers that can’t show enough income to qualify traditionally.  Overall we as a small Mortgage Broker can find the best loan for your needs with he lowest interest rates and fees.   An example of this is; MAE Capital closed a VA loan that came to us from a Veteran who works for the VA and he received a quote from one of the Veteran’s Administration’s “Approved Lenders” that is a Banker/Direct Lender and we beat them by .5 in interest Rate and $13,000 fees.  We closed the loan a 3.875%  and the veteran paid $0 down and $0 closing costs, saving him $13,000 in costs and has a lower monthly payment.  We have many stories like this and most of our clients don’t even realize the savings they are receiving as most clients don’t shop for a loan.  So if your Agent is recommending a Loan Officer Check the rates and fees and then check with MAE Capital Real estate and Loan and you will be shocked at what you will save.  If you are buying in the Greater Sacramento Area (El Dorado, Placer and Sacramento Counties) ask about our Bundling of Services where we represent you as the Realtor and the Loan.  This has saved our clients even more money as we can bundle our commissions and get you a home warranty and even lower interest rates and fees.  MAE Capital Real Estate and Loan is one of California’s best kept secrets when it comes to saving people money on their home financing.  Trying to change this secret into mainstream facts by educating our clients and future clients.  Call us today to find out more or have us compare your Direct Lender’s Loan Estimate with ours and see how we can save you thousands of dollars.  We can Lend all up and down the State of California.  Our phone number 916-672-6130 or go directly to our site at www.maecapital.com

Posted by Gregg Mower on March 18th, 2019 1:11 PM


Everyone needs a place to call home, but not everyone’s needs are the same. If you are visually or mobility impaired, it may be difficult to buy the home of your dreams. If you don’t have steady employment or aren’t familiar with the financial prerequisites of the mortgage lending process, it can be further complicated. Keep reading for info on how to manage finances, communicate your needs to your real estate agent, and make your move a pain-free experience.


 

FICO and Finances

 

It’s an unfortunate reality, but due to fewer work opportunities and high medical debt, ability-disadvantaged individuals tend to hold a lesser share of wealth than the general population. For this reason, it can be harder to save for a down payment and ensure that your credit score is high enough to qualify for a loan. Down payment assistance, housing counseling, and other resources for disabled buyers are available through HUD, the FHA, and Fannie Mae. The Simple Dollar has more information about these and additional resources.

 

As for your credit, when it comes time to apply for a mortgage, the higher the credit score, the better. It’s possible to obtain a mortgage with a credit score as low as 550, but you’ll definitely get better rates and terms as you inch closer to 700. Try to raise your credit score by paying your bills in full and on time and taking care of any misreported information on your credit report, which you want to get a copy of from each of the major reporting agencies: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Keep in mind that saving for your new home and improving your credit takes time. Neither will be achieved overnight, and you don’t want to rush through either step.

 

Know Your Needs (and Plan Ahead for Them)

 

As you get your finances in order, it’s a good idea to identify your needs so that you can maintain an open dialogue with your real estate agent. If you are in a wheelchair, for instance, you may ask them to help you find a home all on a single story and with doorways that have already been widened. Many builders are now incorporating elements of universal design into new construction. If you aren’t familiar with the term, you should know that universal design is essentially inclusive design. It is an approach that strives to address barriers of usability incurred by people of all abilities and in all stages of life.

 

If your disability requires you make frequent trips to your healthcare provider, let your realtor know this information, too. He or she can help you locate a home where you will have access to public transportation or ridesharing services if needed.

 

Since not all properties are already configured for those with disabilities, it may be wise to put aside some cash to make upgrades. Good Financial Cents explains that saving money is much easier if you have it set up automatically. The site also suggests stashing any cash windfalls or raises. This advice applies to saving for any specific goal, including home renovations.

 

Get Ready to Go

 

When it’s time to finally move, there are a few things you should do before opening your new front door. One of these is rekeying or changing the locks, which will add between $96 and $210 to your moving expenses. If anyone in your family has allergies, it’s also wise to bring in a cleaning crew to get rid of dust, dander, smoke and other potential irritants left behind by the previous owners. Don’t forget to have the utilities turned on and make sure to keep a few boxes of your belongings with you in case the movers get delayed. This should include a weeks’ worth of clothing, basic kitchen utensils and gear, and any medications and toiletries you use daily.

 

Moving can be exhausting and intimidating, especially if you have special needs. But it’s not impossible, and the sooner you begin planning, the easier the process will be.  Here at MAE Capital Real Estate and Loan we understand and can help folks that have special needs for housing.  We have the ability to find and finance such housing and are looking forward to assisting you on your journey.  Call today 916-672-6130 

Special Thanks to Natalie Jones for providing the content of this article.

Posted by Gregg Mower on March 12th, 2019 10:48 AM

Excellent, you have decided to pursue the American Dream of home ownership.  Now what do you do?  Well you need to know how much of a home you can afford with the income and bills you have.  This step is the single most important step to your process of obtaining a home.  This process is called getting pre-qualified or pre-approved.  Although, the thought of shopping for a home may be an appealing one you should not even look at homes until you know for sure what you can buy or if you can buy.  The Pre-Approval process is where you will gather all of your financial documents together and get them to a licensed Loan Officer so he or she run the numbers and your credit report and derive a number to which you can qualify for.  You can read more about this process on our Pre-Approval page or our Process Flow page.  Your Loan Officer will give you a loan amount, a loan program, and a sales price you qualify for based on your finances. 

Once you have the Pre-Approval letter in your hand with the terms and amounts you qualify for it is time to find a Realtor to look for homes with.  You may ask why you need a Realtor, and a simple answer will be it doesn’t cost you anything to be represented by one that knows the laws, the inspections requirements, contracts, and inventory.   Yes, it doesn’t cost anything for you, as a home buyer, to be represented by a licensed Real Estate Agent as the sellers pay the real estate commissions to both the listing Agent and the Selling Agent.   If the free service is not enough to convince you to contact an Agent to work for you how about the laws, unless you happen to be a Real Estate Attorney the laws with regards to real estate process and procedures are many.  If that doesn’t scare you enough to be represented, how about the contract itself, there are items in a professional Real Estate contract that, if missed, could cost you thousands of dollars.    Then there is the inventory, or shopping help an Agent can provide for you.  Again you might say I can find anything I need on the internet.  Again true, but, the problem with internet data is the updating of the data is old.  In some cases like Zillow it requires that the listing Agent actually input the data into the system in order for the world to see it.  Whereas the Multiple Listing Service or MLS is required to be used by licensed Realtors for every listing they have or they will be fined.

Now, that you are convinced to find an Agent to represent you, who do you use?  I would, of course, recommend one of our qualified Agents, but if you are out of our service area we can always screen Agents for you in the areas you are looking to buy.   This is a little know service, again its free to you as a buyer, that we offer to assure our clients are represented by an Agent who knows their stuff.  You see, if you go dialing for dollars, as we call it, you will undoubtedly end up with an un-experienced Agent.  This is because the experienced Agents are out working not sitting in the office waiting for the phone to ring, the Agents that are in the office waiting for the phone to ring are generally new to the business trying to get call in business.  Another pitfall buyers run into is calling the listing Agent on a house they wish to buy and have them represent you.  This is called dual Agency, and we as listing Agents love this as we get both sides of the commission, however, undenounced to the un-educated home buyer, the listing Agent’s allegiance is to the seller first, by law.  So it can really pay to be consulted first by one of our Agents to have them either represent you or screen other potential Agents to represent you and your needs. 

Shopping for the perfect home should not be taken lightly either.  You should have a list of items that are “must have” items in a home such as number of bedrooms and bathrooms, updated kitchen, new or existing home, and most importantly location.  Making this list is crucial for your Agent as they will be able to search for properties that fit your exact criteria, so you are not wasting your time looking at homes that don’t fit your needs.  In addition to the “must have” list you should do a “wish list” like granite counter tops, hardwood floors, a pool etc.  You should also do a list of items you absolutely do not want.  You Agent has the ability in the MLS system to put in exacting parameters that you can’t get on the consumer version on the internet.   Your Agent will put your parameters into the MLS system and put you on an automatic drip of homes in the area(s) you are looking in with the exacting parameters you have.  Your first email of homes will be the largest as the initial search will pull all the current listings that fit your parameters.  The emails you will get after that are “as they hit the market” emails, in other words you will be the first to see the properties come on the market.  This is great if you are in a competitive price range as you will be able to see properties as they come on the market with no delays.  This could be the difference of you getting the best home or not. 

A great strategy to look at homes is to drive the properties that look good in the listings that you have viewed on line.  Driving the properties will give you a real idea of where they are, what they really look like, and how they have been maintained.  When driving the properties you don’t have to include your Agent as you are simply doing your own diligence.  Make notes of the ones you would like to see and then call your Agent to make appointments to see the homes.  Never go up to the door and disturb the occupants it is not nice nor is it safe.  To see the homes your Agent will need to make appointments with the listing Agents or the owners directly for you to get inside.  Your Agent will put together “a tour” that will include your availability to see them and the seller’s availability to show them.  When you go to view the home take pictures and take notes so you can remember the ones you liked and disliked.  You may not find the perfect house after several showings, don’t get discouraged homes are coming on the market every day and with patience you will find what you are looking for. 

You did not expect to go looking for houses today and find the perfect one, but that is the way it happens, one minute you think you will never find the perfect house the next you find one you can’t live without.  You now need to get it tied up so no one else can have your perfect home.   Your Agent will write an offer for you and ask you to provide your pre-approval letter and a Ernest Money Deposit (EMD).  The offer will be on a 10 page form that has all terms in it from the offer price to the loan amount, to the items that need to be inspected, and it also spells out who pays what.   Remember you can ask for anything in the offer and your Agent will go over those details with you.  Once you have decided the price and terms you will be offering you will sign the offer and your Agent will then submit your offer to the listing Agent.  Within the offer you wrote a time period the seller has to get back to you with a response.  When the seller reviews your offer they will either accept it as is or they will counter offer your offer with different terms.  This is all part of the negotiation process.  Once you and the Seller have reached an agreement and both have signed and accepted the terms you are now officially in contract.

Once in contract you will have certain dates that you must adhere to in the contract such as inspection periods.  The inspection periods include your right to get a home inspection, appraisal and any other inspections you and your Agent deem fit.  Those inspections periods are about 2 weeks so you should be prepared to start paying for them right away.  Your Agent will know good inspectors to use so rely on them to guide you through this time period.  A special note about home inspections is that they cover everything from cracks in the driveway to mold in the attic and sometimes it is difficult to determine what items are important to have repaired or if they need repair.  You can talk with the inspector directly to determine this or talk with your Agent or both.  If you determine you require additional repairs in order to buy the house you will have your Agent prepare a repair addendum, and submit it to the seller.  The seller has the right to say that they will or will not do the repairs.  If the Seller says that they will not do the repairs you may need to make the decision to renegotiate price or back out altogether.  If you do back out during the inspection periods you are entitled to a refund of your deposit.  If you miss the time frames in the contract and decide to back out you could very well lose your deposit.  Your Agent will work with you to make all of this legal.  Another variable inspection is the appraisal.  If the appraisal comes in lower than the offering price your Agent will discuss your options with you.  Those options will be to give the seller a counter offer with the lower value as the price, or you could pay the difference in down payment if you are so inclined.  If you decide to pay the difference be prepared to make the down payment on the lower of the sales price or appraised value and pay the difference.  For example if the sales price is $250,000 and you are putting 10% down for a 90% loan to value (LTV) or $25,000, and the appraisal came in at $245,000 you will be required to put your $25,000 down and you will have to add an additional $5,000 for a total of $30,000 and you will still be at a 90% LTV. 

Once you have made it through the inspection periods and everything has passed your standards, we are full steam ahead to the closing of this transaction.  At this time I would suggest you get back with your MAE Capital Loan Officer and make sure they are on schedule to close and see if they need any more documentation from you or explanations.  By now the loan should be approved, and hopefully you are just waiting for the legal paperwork to be delivered to the escrow so you can sign and bring in the remainder of down payment and closing costs.  You can always refer to the closing diagram on our Process Flow page to see where you are at in the process.  There still may be a few weeks left in your escrow process so be prepared to provide more information for your Loan Officer.  Now would be a good time to start preparing to transfer your utilities so you have no interruption when you move.

OK, you signed brought your money in to the Escrow and are ready to close.  The lender must review everything before they release funds to Escrow to make sure all signatures are correct and the all the conditions the underwriter put on the file have been met.   Once everything is good the lender funds the loan to the Escrow and they then take the Deed to the county to record the transaction to make the house legally yours.   Congratulations you are now a home owner and you can move in and do anything to the home you wish.  Your first mortgage payment will be due the first of the following month and be sure to make that payment on time or it will affect your credit.  I hope this helped you with some basics to buying a home.  If you go to our Pre-Approval page and complete the form at the bottom of the page we will contact you are start your process or give us a call we would love to talk to you at (916) 672-6130.

Posted by Gregg Mower on February 26th, 2019 3:02 PM

This subject is a little uncomfortable for most people.  When the Bank tells you that you don’t qualify for the loan you have applied for it can be very frustrating.  If the Bank tells you No not only do you feel defeated you are also left feeling embarrassed.  So, what do you do; do you just stop trying, or quit?  Or do you move on to alternate plans or search for different options from different sources?  We are going to cover the latter and what you can do to be proactive in obtaining financing for a home or an Investment property. 

First, we need to determine why you were declined by the bank.  Was it due to bad credit or credit that didn’t meet this lender’s standards?  Was it due to the fact you did not have enough money to put down?  Was it because you could not show enough income, on paper, to qualify? Or a combination of all of these?  These are common issues when trying to qualify for a loan, but they can be overcome in most instances.  In order to fix the problem, we have to first identify it and that is usually done by analyzing your financial paperwork such as your credit report, pay-stubs, bank statements, and Tax Returns to determine where the problem lies.   Then we put together a plan to fix the problems.

Let’s start with the Credit and if you were declined due to poor credit.  If you have applied for a home loan and the lender has declined you for poor credit we must look at what that lender’s credit score requirement is.  If the lender will not approve loans for people with credit scores less than 640 or 620, 600 or lower then we have to see exactly what you credit score is and that lender should be able to provide you with the credit report that they ordered.  The reason this is important is that a lender’s credit report is different than the free stuff you can get online like Credit Karma or a service like this, not to me3ntion if too many people pull your credit it could hurt it even further.  A lender’s credit report takes into consideration the 3 major credit reporting bureaus and merges the data into one report that has all 3 credit scores.  A lender will look at your middle score or if you are married, they will look at the low-mid score of the two people.  It is important to know that there are many ways to view a credit report and how to present it to an underwriter, who will make the decision on your loan.  If you are the bread winner in the family and your spouse has the poor score that is dragging you down, you might try applying as sole and separate and adding your spouse to the title after the loan closes. Or you could look to the reasons for the bad credit and see how hard it would be to fix it and how long it would take to fix it and if the transaction you are in today could be stretched out long enough to get it fixed. If your scores are too low for the lender you are with there may be other lenders out there that will take the lower scores.  At MAE Capital Mortgage we are a Broker so we have many lender’s we deal with, and we know what lenders will take the lower credit scores.  We also show you how to fix your credit and tell you how long it will take.  One option might be an FHA loan as many lenders we deal with will go down to a 580 or even as low as a 550 credit score.  If you have a large down payment and poor credit, we have sources that can fund that with a little higher interest Rates.  There are ways to help and we can surely show you the way.

If your lender has declined you for not enough money to buy a home, there are ways to overcome this as well.  We would have to look at the home or property you are trying to purchase to determine what type of financing would fit the Real Estate you are trying to buy.    If you are trying to buy a single-family home and you are going to occupy the property as your primary residence, we again might look to an FHA loan as you can get into a home with as little as 3.5% down.  With an FHA loan you could also use a gift from a family member, or employer for that 3.5%.  This option helps our clients in many situations that they didn’t believe they had enough money to buy a home.  If you are looking to buy an investment property and you don’t have enough money for the down payment there are option for this as well.  You could negotiate with the seller to carry a second mortgage and you could buy an investment with as little money as $0 down.  This would be coupled with a non-traditional loan or a Private/Hard money loan, but it can be done.   There are also down payment assistance programs that come in an out of the market that you may be able to qualify for as well for a single family owner occupied home.  So, don’t always looks to the lack of money as the deterrent to purchasing a property.

Another common problem when trying to qualify for a loan is the lack of provable income.  A lender may have declined you for a loan due to the fact that your “ratios” are too high.  This is a lender’s way of telling you that you don’ make enough money to qualify for the loan products they offer.  A ratio is the mortgage payment with taxes and insurance and your monthly bills added together then divided by your income that you show on your tax returns, pay-stubs, bank statements or a combination of all.  Most traditional financing will require you provide Pay-stubs and your Federal Tax Returns to determine your income.  This doesn’t always work for people as income can be subjective especially if you are self-employed.  People try hard not to owe the Government taxes at the end of the year and for folks that are self-employed can, and do, show more deductions for the expenses of running a company or their personal business’.   This is well known in the industry, but many lenders don’t have any other options for those folks that write off too much on their Tax Returns.  At MAE Capital we have several options for those that can’t qualify for a traditional loan with Tax Returns.  The most popular is the Bank Statement Loan that uses the deposits made by the borrower each month to determine what they actually make.   By averaging the deposits over the last 2 years we can see if a borrower is making enough money to actually qualify.  Another type of loan that will not require Tax Returns is the W2 only loan.  This loan will use your pay-stubs and your W2s but will not use your Federal Tax Returns.   The W2 only loan will help those that make a W2 wage but may write off too much on their Taxes to qualify for what they want.  At MAE Capital Mortgage we offer both of these loans from a variety of lenders across the country.

If you are an Investor and the Banks have turned you down or they just take too long, we have great options for you.  Our sources of Private Money Loans or Hard Money Loans are second to none.  Private money loans allow borrowers with 20% or more down to qualify without providing proof of income.  Private Money Loans for Investors will also allow for poor credit.  If you are an investor and the Banks have said no look no further, we can help.  Learn more on our Private Money page.

 You may have a combination of the above issues and there are ways to deal with your problems.   If you simply can’t show anything and have bad credit and no money, then it may not be the time for you to purchase.  This is not the end; however, you may simply need a plan to work towards.  We work with folks every day to plan for their future.  Getting into a home or buying a piece of property takes planning and guidance and that is our function.  The American dream should not be closed to those that do things a little different or don’t work inside the “the box”.  We are here to work you through the maze of financial options.  At MAE Capital Real Estate and Loan we have the ability to work with all types of borrowers and home buyers and Investor’s.  Call us today to get qualified 916-672-6130.

   

Posted by Gregg Mower on January 29th, 2019 2:14 PM

As we embark into 2019 I enter my 35th year in the industry.  Not saying I have seen everything but I have seen enough to know what is around the corner for Real Estate and Interest Rates.  History seems to have a way of repeating itself over and over especially with Real Estate and market trends.  So as you read this you will see references to the past as that is how the future is formed and it has worked consistently for the last 100 years now as we have become a society of growth and invention.  But over time we as humans seem to follow the same trends and patterns in Real Estate and the Stock and Bond markets are no exception and we call this the “Business Cycle”.

The Business Cycle is a repeating cycle of booms and busts or good markets and slow markets.  In Real Estate and the Stock markets you can really see how this plays out with increasing home prices and lowering home prices and the Stock market going up then sagging back down over the business cycle.  The business cycle in Real Estate starts with investors entering the market picking up good deals (as they perceive it to be be) usually after a bust in Real Estate prices.  Once investors have taken a good hold in fixing and flipping or creating rental portfolios you start to see the first-time buyers enter the market.  When the first-time home buyers are buying and home prices begin to rise again you will see the move-up buyers enter the market creating more inventory. Eventually, over time the supply from the move-up buyers and the new home builders cools the prices from rising as the supply of housing catches up with the demand for housing.  When the supply or quality homes for sale becomes greater than the demand you then get a cooling down of the Prices of homes.  You will also see new home builders entering the market when the demand for homes is the highest and the supply is the lowest creating a greater supply of housing.  This is the Real Estate Cycle that has existed since the beginning of private land ownership.

This is important to know as if you can pinpoint where we are in this cycle you can formulate a plan to buy or sell Real Estate.   As far as interest rates are concerned the cycle is about the same but a little lagged compared to the Real Estate cycle.  This is simple economics, as well, when the demand for money is the highest (generally the peak of the Real Estate Market) is when the Federal Reserve starts to see inflationary numbers such as lower unemployment, and rising consumer prices.  You see housing drives the US economy as most products and services are designed for your home and when there is a high demand for these goods and services you will see prices start to rise.  That will trigger the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates to combat the possibility of inflation and the devaluation of the dollar.  I know this is a whole bunch of economic principles here, but this is how the business cycle works.  I could go into specific details as I hold a degree in economics, but this would bore you and I want to inform you so you can be ahead of others that are not smart enough to read anymore. 

As you see interest rates start to rise you will see almost an instant slow down in the demand for housing and goods and services as people can no longer afford to purchase the high-priced homes with high interest rates.  This, in turn, slows the whole economy down.  The Federal Reserve (the Fed) can’t possibly know how much interest rates should rise to slow the economy down to an acceptable inflation rate of 3-4%.  The Fed will generally raise rates too high initially and slow the economy down too much then rates sag back down until the economy is stimulated again then they raise them to get to the right inflationary numbers.  Since it is not an exact science we see volatility and this is where I believe we are at in the business cycle currently.  The Fed has not landed on the right interest rate combination yet and thus we are seeing volatility in interest rates and coincidentally the Stock Markets as well.  The Stock markets knows this cycle and reacts to it, as well, that is why we have seen record swings in the Stock markets in the last several months. 

So, we know where we are in the “Business Cycle” and we have seen the higher rates and the Real Estate Market slowdown in the 4th quarter of 2018.  Does this mean we are in for a bust?  I don’t think a bust is in order, but I do see a slow down and a leveling off in Real Estate prices and in some cases a decrease in perceived values.   Coincidently, this cycle has worked over a pretty consistent 10 year cycle with the slow down starting in the 8th year of each decade and going though the 9th year and slowly picking up with investors coming in on the 10th year.  For example 2008-2010 was slow for Real Estate as was 1998-2000 and 1988-1990 and so on, history repeats itself.  I am not saying that you should not buy Real Estate during these times I am simply pointing out the business cycle in Real Estate so you can be informed.  There are always deals out there and with the right Realtor and Lender partner like MAE Capital Real Estate and Loan you can profit.  With our experience you can make a plan to own Real Estate and not worry about the business cycle as interest rates are still low compared to history and there are some really good deals out there to purchase.  So, beat the investors to the punch and get in the game with your first home or your 20th home, we are here for you.  In our site you can look at properties currently listed on the MLS and get pre-approved all from your chair at home or work.   Give us a call and let our experience help you plan your future at 916-672-6130.     

Posted by Gregg Mower on January 8th, 2019 12:17 PM

So you want to be a Real Estate Investor but have no idea where to start.  If you are really serious about getting into Investment property I would advise to start with your budget and how much money you have get started with.   The money side of Real Estate investing is the single biggest issue I see people get in trouble with.  That said you should also figure out if you are going to fix and flip property or if you are going to acquire long term a rental property.  These are two very different strategies and should be understood before jumping into either.  The third option is commercial property and the fix and flip market doesn’t really exist for these types of investments as commercial property does not have the demand like housing does, commercial property has traditionally been used to generate income.  These are the basic Investments people start with when looking to invest in Real Estate.  Not to say there aren’t other options our there but Residential Fix and Flip, Residential income property and commercial income property are the most common Real Estate Investments people want to start with.

Let’s take a look at what a budget should be for investing in Real Estate.  To start you should be prepared to be able to make a down payment of at least 20%-30% and if you are fixing and flipping you should also have the money in reserve to pay for the improvements you wish to make.  There are some loans that we can arrange for you called After Repair Value Loans (or ARV loans) that will lend you a percentage of the project based on the appraised value of the home after it has gone through your renovation.  Generally, these loans will be 65%-75% of the fixed-up value of the property.  But if you can put down the required down payment and have the repair money you will see the best gains and not have the worries of overruns and problems that will pop up during a fix and flip project.  Some advice I would give for a fix and flip, as I have personally done several, would be to “do the numbers” before even entering into contract to purchase.  The numbers are some basic calculations of costs, and as you do more of these the better you become at estimating the costs of repair.  Before entering into a purchase contract on any potential fix and flip you should know what the costs to repair will be as well as what you could sell it for once the repairs are done.  For example if you are looking at a house that is listed for $200,000 in “as is condition” in a market where is could sell for $300,000 fixed up you need to have an accurate idea of how much it will cost to fix up.  In this example if it was going to cost $50,000 to bring the property up to the top of the market you could stand to make $50,000 in profit.  Figuring it will take about 3 months of repair before you could put it back on the market.  If this is an acceptable profit for your time and energy then it would be a good investment for you.  If the costs look like it will be more like $80,000 to fix you have to ask yourself if this is enough for your time and money taking into consideration what you might find when you start demolition.  Knowing your costs is the single most important part of the fix and flip investment as it doesn’t make sense if the costs to repair plus the purchase price is greater than what you can sell it for in the end.  Also know your market place, if the values are rising due to lack of inventory your project might be worth more when you finish the rehab, but if your market is stagnant or slowing with increasing inventory you need to consider that the project might be worth less when the rehab is done. 

If you are buying a property for rental income it is important to note that you should have a realistic income goal you wish to “Net” after all the monthly costs of your rental property.  You should also know the tax rules both state and federal with regards to rental property and what the landlord’s responsibilities are.  If this is your first attempt at a rental property you may want to explore the cost of having a property manager.  A property manager will handle all things to do with the tenant, so you don’t have to, but with that comes with a cost that you must figure in as well.  You should be prepared to put an initial down payment of at least 20%-30% down more if you wish to have more return on your money.  Again, there are 2 objectives to holding rental property and you should identify what your objectives are.  First, are you purchasing a renal for monthly income or are you purchasing and holding hoping for gains on your investment or both?  Both plans require you to “run the numbers” to make sure you actually get what you set out to.  If you are looking for income after paying a mortgage on your home, you have to ask “how much do you need to make”.  For example: You buy a $400,000 single family house put down 30% and have a $280,000 mortgage with a mortgage payment of $1,503 at 5% and your annual taxes for the property are $5,000 a year then divide that by 12 and your monthly taxes are $416, and your insurance is $1,200 annually your monthly insurance is $100.  Your base monthly cost before repair contingencies would be $1,716.  If the rents you can get on the property are not greater than that you will have negative rent every month which means you will not be making money but paying money.  This might be OK if you think the $400,000 property will gain in value over the years at a rate that is acceptable for you.  If that is not acceptable then you would have to put more money on the initial down payment to lower the mortgage amount thus lowering the monthly payment to a level where you are receiving the income you want.  This example doesn’t take into consideration a work contingency fund for any unexpected problems that may arise with having renters in your property like clogged plumbing, landscaping, broken appliances, etc..  Again this all boils down to your budget if you can afford to pay cash for the property you should look at the return on your investment.  That is done by taking your initial investment and dividing the income after expenses into the initial investment.  In our example above if you bought a $400,000 house for cash and the rents you could get is $1,800 a month your taxes and insurance are $516 a month and maintenance will average $200 a month you would have a monthly cost $716 a month subtract that from your income and you have a net income of $1,084 times 12 is $13,008 annually then divide that by your initial investment of $400,000 and you get 3.3% return on investment not taking into consideration any increases in value of your property.  If that is acceptable return for you then it would be a good investment, if not then do the numbers on another investment where you are getting the return you desire. 

If you are considering commercial property as an investment be prepared to be in a much higher sales price environment than residential Real Estate.  Commercial Real Estate is generally not a vehicle that the first time Real Estate Investor should be in unless they really understand the market they are in and the rules of owning commercial Real Estate and have the assets to maintain commercial property.  A commercial Investor must be prepared for vacancies in their property unless they are an owner operator of the building, in other words you run your business from the commercial property.  It is prudent to own the building you run your business from if it is possible as you can pay yourself rents from your company, which is a conversation for your tax professional as well.  There is a lot more to owning commercial property that I can get into in this blog but if you are interested before my commercial real estate blog comes out just give us call and we can help you.

There are many ways to invest in Real Estate these are just a few examples.  If you wanted nothing to do with the actual day to day operations of owning Real Estate and you have money to invest you might want to look at being an investor in a private Real Estate Note where you lend your money to someone who needs it that can’t qualify under traditional financing.  This is where we at MAE Capital Real Estate and Loan would find someone in need of Private money for a project they have, and we would lend your money to them and every month you would get a check for the interest on your investment.  This type of investing is a lot like investing in a Certificate of Deposit but with a high yield.  You would have to be prepared to have your money tied up for a period of time of 1 to 5 years.  With this type of investment, you will know what your yield will be every month with no expenses to worry about.  There are other investments in Real Estate such as Real Estate Investment Trusts, Joint Ventures etc. where you are investing but don’t have the management responsibilities.  If you are interest in getting started in investing here at MAE Capital Real Estate and Loan we can advise you in both the Real Estate side and the loan side of the transaction, one call all your answers.  We can be reached at 916-672-6130 our website at www.maecapital.com

Posted by Gregg Mower on December 12th, 2018 11:08 AM

Holiday Real Estate selling can be challenging at best for Sellers but don’t give up hope with rising interest rates potential home buyers should be looking to jump in before they are priced out of the market.  Other than rising interest rates it is not so bad for home buyers this time of year, but a seller has to always have their home ready to show and can be problematic if you live in the house you are trying to sell.  With family coming and going from the family home it can be nearly impossible to keep your home “show ready”.   However, if you are selling a staged and remodeled home this may be the perfect time of year to sell as homebuyers are always looking and inventory is traditionally lower this time of year.  As homebuyers are always” in the market to buy” a seller may not be for obvious reasons. 

Traditionally, during the holidays there is so many extraneous things going on in lives of people that they most often decide to wait to sell their homes after the first of the year when things calm down and they have the time to keep their homes “show ready”.   Many folks that want to sell the family home, decide not to list and sell their homes during the holidays as they may have family coming and going or they may be going to family.  They may also be coming and going from their home doing holiday shopping, decorating, or parties or all the above.  So, for these reasons some people will opt to wait till after the first of the year to put their home on the market.  In January you will traditionally see more homes come on the market as time has freed up for the potential sellers to get their homes ready to sell and all the holiday decorations have been stowed away.   Homebuyers, I have found, are always looking to buy so if there would be a possibility to list your home during the holidays chances are greater that you will sell your home during this time.

For investors listing and selling their houses, they won’t have of the same pressures as they do not depend on the house they are selling for their family.  For an investor this is a business of buying, fixing and selling homes so they don’t have the same problems that a homeowner will have that lives in the home they are selling.  So, for that reason you may see more remodeled homes hitting the market place this time of year as investors are smart and know that their houses will be in more demand this time of year as the inventory of available homes for sale has shrunken due to the holidays.  For a smart homebuyer they may get to take advantage of buying a newly remodeled home where other home buyers may have opted to wait till after the first of the year to resume looking for a home. 

There are pro’s and con’s to buying and selling a home this time of year, but always remember that both Buyer’s and Seller’s can write anything they want in the contract.  If a Homebuyer doesn’t want to move over the holidays they can always write a Close of Escrow Date to be after the first of the year or after Thanksgiving so they do not have disrupt their living arrangements during the holidays.  The same holds true to a seller they can dictate when they wish to close escrow as well.  Some other factors during this time of year to take into consideration is that the service providers such as the Lenders, Title Companies, Escrow Companies, and even Realtors may have travel plans with their families that may slow things up as well.  The toughest time of year to try and close an escrow is the last day of the year and that should be taken into consideration.  This year is particularly difficult as the 31st falls on a Monday which makes December 28th the last business day of the year and it is a Friday before a  potential 3 day weekend, people may be leaving town or trying to leave town which can slow or delay a closing.  Also, Christmas falls on the Tuesday of the same week making that week only a 4-day or 3.5-day week at best.  There are a lot of things going on this time of year that doesn’t usually happen other times of the year, so if you are buying or selling a home I would say be flexible as you never know what may happen to delay a close of escrow.     We know how this works and plan for it the day we list or make an offer for a client.  Seeing the future is impossible but panning for it is not and we want to make sure your experience this time of year is the best.  Please call us at MAE Capital Real Estate and Loan and we can guide you through the process 916-672-6130.

Posted by Gregg Mower on November 15th, 2018 11:07 AM

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