Friday, July 27, 2007

Mortgage rates dropped this week!

Freddie Mac reports a decrease in the 30-year fixed mortgage rate to 6.69 percent during the week ended July 26 from 6.73 percent the previous week. Interest on 15-year fixed loans recorded a slight decline to 6.37 percent from 6.38 percent. Meanwhile, the five-year adjustable mortgage rate dipped to 6.3 percent from 6.35 percent, and the one-year ARM tumbled to 5.69 percent from 5.72 percent.

Source: The Wall Street Journal (07/27/07)

See - they are not always going UP!


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Pre-Qualified or Pre-Approved?

What's the difference? Confusing prequalification with preapproval can mean disappointment for both a home seller and a buyer. Real estate experts say it's smart to urge buyers to become preapproved by their lender, not just prequalified. For buyers to obtain a bona fide preapproval, they must submit a loan application with the necessary documentation and fee. After the lender verifies and analyzes the application, it will notify the applicant of how much money he can afford to borrow. Armed with that information, the buyer can confidently go home shopping. Prequalifications are simply an estimate of what a buyer can afford. A buyer who assumes that this estimate is accurate and chooses a home based on the information may, in fact, be denied a loan when he actually applies. That results in a situation that wastes his time and can put a seller in an a bad position if they've already turned away a qualified buyer. And, of course, it wastes the real estate agent's time as well.

Search the MLS for Ventura County Real Estate at:

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Quick, Affordable Ways to Update Your Kitchen

Here are some inexpensive ways to give your kitchen a quick update:

  • Replace the flooring. Install laminate floor over old linoleum, vinyl, or chipped tile. It costs just $1 to $5 a square foot and looks like wood, stone, or tile.

  • Replace the lighting. A new ceiling fixture costs less than $100 and will brighten up the place. Adding some under-the-cabinet lights will illuminate work surfaces.

  • Give the cabinets a new life. A coat of paint and new knobs is the cheapest way to go. If you’re able to spend $4,000 to $6,000 on the project, hire a refacing company to replace the doors and drawer-fronts.

  • Refinish the appliances. For a few hundred dollars, an appliance refinisher will re-enamel your stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher door in the color of your choice, including a stainless steel look-alike.

  • Update the backsplash. Replace the space between your cabinets and the countertop with fashionable stone or inexpensive wallpaper.

Search the MLS for Ventura County Real Estate at:

Friday, July 13, 2007

High End Homes Booming!

Sales of high-end homes are doing better than the rest of the market in many areas, according to DataQuick Information Systems, which tracks home prices.
There appears to be three main causes of the split in the market. First, affluent families continue to do better financially than others, thanks to healthy income gains and a rising stock market. The upper end of the market has also been helped by an influx of well-off foreign investors whose buying power has grown with the recent decline of the dollar. Finally, both the recent rise in interest rates and the problems in the mortgage market have had a much bigger effect on low-income and middle-class buyers than affluent ones. It's become harder to get a subprime mortgage, while the uptick in interest rates this year has added about $100 to the monthly payment on an average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.

Search the MLS for Ventura Real Estate at:

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Thinking of a mobile home?

If you are thinking of purchasing a mobile home/manufactured home instead of a stick-built home, anything older than built in 1990 will require a 20% down payment. On a $100,000 home, that's $20,000 down. On a $150,000 home, that's $30,000 down. This is just a head's up for those of you that think mobile homes are cheeper to purchase.

See information about mobile home parks in the Ventura area at: