Karen Urata Realtor

Archive for May, 2012|Monthly archive page

Great News For Veterans -The VA Steamline Loan

In Avoid Foreclosure, El Cajon, Escondido, La Mesa, Mission Valley, Norh San Diego County, North San Diego County, Oceanside, Poway, Ramona, Real Estate, San Diego County, San Marcos, Santee, Uncategorized, Vista on May 30, 2012 at 6:53 pm
Interest Rates

Interest Rates (Photo credit: 401K)

If you are a veteran who used your VA benefits to purchase a home and now are underwater there is now a way that you may be able to refinance and take advantage of the record low-interest rates that are available today without your home appraising at current market values. Even if you are not underwater and want to take advantage of the incredibly low rates, this is a way to easily make this happen.

This program is called VA streamline loan program and the new guidelines are effective May 15th 2012.

It is actually possible for you to get a loan up to $625,000 with no appraisal, no income documentation, no loan to value restrictions for owner occupants with no mortgage lates for the last 12 months.  It is important to note that lenders sometimes have their own guidelines that they overlay on this VA program that may be more restrictive than what the VA program allows, so it is important to  what questions to ask and to check with several lenders to see what they offer for their  particular VA streamline program.

To get the information that will help you know what to look for when shopping for a lender click here to view the VA streamline guidelines as outlined by the VA  http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/irrrl.asp.

For those who are not veterans, but who are underwater and want to take advantage of the historically low-interest rates for refis available today check out my post about the HAMP 2.0 program.

For those who live in California, if you would like a list of lenders to start your search I would be happy to send you a list that will get you started on your research.  Just leave your request in the comments.

See you in the neighborhood,

Karen Urata

DRE License # 01720025

B W Real Estate Group

(760) 609-0952

5-Star Award Winner  San Diego Magazine 2010, 2011, 2012

Serving Buyers and Sellers in San Diego County

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Have You Visited Queen Califia’s Magic Circle Garden?

In Art, Escondido, Family Fun, Norh San Diego County, North San Diego County, Real Estate, San Diego County, Things to do in Escondido, Uncategorized on May 23, 2012 at 5:23 am

One thing I find surprising is that many people do not know about the great things about living in Escondido, so today I am going to talk about one of my personal favorites.  Tucked away in Kit Carson Park is Queen Califia’s Magical Circle Garden by the acclaimed artist NIKI DE SAINT PHALLE’S.   It is just one piece of Escondido’s considerable Public Art Program which makes it a special place to live or visit.

You will find this magical, joyful place in the park, just behind the 17th hole of the Frisbee Golf course.  Imagine fanciful colors, and mirrors all working together to create a maze of imaginative creatures.  There is also a treasure waiting to be discovered at the heart of the maze. So I will say no more least I spoil the surprise of discovery for you.  This is such a fanciful place no one can leave here without a song in their heart and a smile on their face.

The park also offers beautifully shaded picnic tables, play ground areas for the younger  kids, and as noted before an awesome Frisbee golf course for the big kids.  It is a great place to spend a lazy Southern California day.  It’s  location is 3333 Bear Valley Pkwy, Escondido, CA 92025.

The thing that got me thinking about this was the fact that I just listed a beautiful home in Escondido.  If you are here to enjoy the Kit Carson Park and decide that Escondido looks like a great place to live you should give me a call.   I can help you with that.

See you in the neighborhood,

Karen Urata

DRE License # 01720025

B W Real Estate Group

(760) 609-0952

5-Star Award Winner  San Diego Magazine 2010, 2011, 2012

Serving Home-Buyers and Seller in San Diego County

New Programs to Bring Help to Underwater Homeowners

In Avoid Foreclosure, Escondido, La Mesa, Mission Valley, North San Diego County, Oceanside, Poway, Real Estate, San Diego County, Uncategorized, Vista on May 11, 2012 at 2:51 am

 Photo By Salvatore Vuono

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659

According to recent reports we can look for two new programs designed to help the underwater homeowner in June of 2012.  One is a program that focuses on refinancing, the other focuses on home loan principle reduction.

The first, called Hamp 2.0 allows some homeowners to take advantage of the current historically low interest rates by allowing them to refinance their home when their current loan balance is higher the current market value.  I am sure we have all heard stories about someone who tried to get a lower monthly payment by refinancing their home only to find out that their house must be appraised at today’s values and that if that amount was less than the amount they currently owed on their mortgage they could not get refinancing.  Seems crazy doesn’t it.  The very people who most need the help of lower interest rates can’t qualify.   This program is supposed to help address this.  It is scheduled to roll out in June.  To get a head start just contact Alexis at West End Mortgage. He can let you know if you fit the guidelines to qualify.  Contact him at  alexis@mycalifornialoan.com.  Just tell him I suggested that you check it out.

The second program, under Keep Your Home California is called the Principle Reduction Program, is for eligible underwater homeowners in California.  It will actually lower the amount of principle owed on your mortgage if you qualify.  For more information about the guidelines click here http://keepyourhomecalifornia.org/programs/prp.pdf  It is also scheduled to roll out in June.  Ask  your lender if they are participating in this program.  For an easy to understand overview of the program check out the related article below.

See you in the neighborhood,

Karen Urata

DRE License # 01720025

B W Real Estate Group

(760) 609-0952

5-Star Award Winner  San Diego Magazine 2010, 2011, 2012

Serving Buyers and Sellers in San Diego County

Does it Make Sense Today to Hire a Realtor When Buying or Selling Your Home?

In La Mesa, Mission Valley, North San Diego County, Oceanside, Poway, Real Estate, Retirement homes, San Diego County, Uncategorized, Vista on May 8, 2012 at 5:06 pm
1941 REALTOR ad #2

1941 REALTOR ad #2 (Photo credit: NARinfocentral)

Image: jannoon028 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We live in such a wonderful time.  The internet brings so much information to our fingertips.  Homebuyers are able to see homes on the market and market value information, like Zestimates, in a flash.  It is a benefit of the information age.  It makes many people wonder if today, they really need a professional to help them find the home of their dreams.

Interestingly enough, I think the answer to this is maybe even more so today than ever.  Why?  Because while it is true that there is more information available to us today, there is also more misinformation.

Well, I do not know if you have ever searched online for a home and after an hour or two decided that you have found just what you wanted.  You sent off an email only to find that it sold 6 months ago.

Maybe you are thinking of selling your home to upgrading to a larger home in order to take advantage of the fact that the lower prices often translate in to a larger proportional savings at a higher price point.  You have done research on-line to get an idea of the value of your property through the tools like Zestimates.  You calculated what you might then have to put down on the purchase of your new home.  You are ready to sell and decide to go it alone and put your home on the market without the help of a professional Realtor®.  You set your price based on the research you did on the internet.  Because the tools you used cannot take into consideration the personal nature of each property or the details of the transactions, it is not an accurate reflection of an individual property in the market conditions that exist today. The result is that you may not be priced to attract the ideal buyer for your property.  The consequence could be that your home languishes on the market and as a result, buyers may not even include your home on their list of viewings thinking that there must be something wrong with this home because it has been on the market so long.  In addition to strategic pricing, a Realtor® can draw on real estate marketing expertise and real estate network contacts to promote your home on the real estate market.

Having said that, I think that the internet is a wonderful place to start your journey of buying or selling a home.  I just believe that along the way it is important to find a professional Realtor® to work on your behalf to help guide you through the art of negotiating the right terms on the right property or with the right buyers to make your real estate goals a reality.

If you have any questions about the real-time market conditions in your neighborhood or the neighborhood you want to live  in, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I am here to help you.

See you in the neighborhood,

Karen Urata

DRE License # 01720025

B W Real Estate Group

(760) 609-0952

5-Star Award Winner  San Diego Magazine 2010, 2011, 2012

Serving San Diego County