Karen Urata Realtor

Posts Tagged ‘San Diego County’

Viewing Christmas Lights, a Family Tradition in San Diego County

In El Cajon, Escondido, La Mesa, North San Diego County, Oceanside, Poway, Ramona, San Diego, San Diego County, San Marcos, Santee, Things to do in El Cajon, Things to do in Escondido, Things to do in La Mesa on December 8, 2015 at 12:26 am

Image by Feelart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image by Feelart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Viewing Christmas Lights, a Family Tradition in San Diego County

One of our family’s favorite festivities during the holiday season is to bundle up, hop in the car and take a drive to enjoy the Christmas lights in the neighborhood.  Of course, it usually is not snowing , and it does not require much bundling up to keep warm.  These days it pays to have a plan rather than just driving around so here is a great list of Christmas Light put together each year by San Diego Family Magazine.  The list is organized by each area of the county, ex: North County, East County etc. and then broken down by city, ex: San Marcos, El Cajon etc.  To plan your Christmas Light outing click here to view the list.

See you in the neighborhood,

Karen Urata

Century 21 Award

karenurata@gmail.com

(619) 454–7959

DRE License # 01720025

Winner 5-Star Award San Diego Magazine  -2010, 2011, 2012, 2015

Why is Escrow Asking Me for Personal Information and What Should I Do About It?

In 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, Transaction Tuesday, Vista on June 26, 2015 at 10:52 pm

Transaction Tuesday

Image courtesy of smarnad/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Why is escrow asking me for personal information and what should I do about it?

These days we all know that we should never give out any of our personal information unless we know exactly who is getting it and exactly why they need it so this is a question that often comes up during the escrow process.  The reason for this is a little piece of paper that seller’s are given to fill out by the escrow officer called the Statement of  Information.

This form is actually used by your title company to distinguish the buyers and sellers of real property from other people with similar names when searching public records for judgments, liens, court decrees, bankruptcies or other matters.

If you fail to provide the Statement of information, your title company will have to add exclusions to the policy that list as exceptions from coverage judgments, liens or other matters which may affect the property to be insured.  These exclusions or exceptions are not allowed by lenders.  Lenders will require that the title is insured, so without this Statement of Information being submitted in a timely manner you might  find that your closing could be delayed.

Just another tip to help your transaction go smoothly to closing.  Remember, feel free to call me if you have a question about real estate.

 

See you in the neighborhood,

Karen Urata

Century 21 Award

uratakaren@yahoo.com

(619) 454–7959

DRE License # 01720025

Winner 5-Star Award San Diego Magazine  -2010, 2011, 2012, 2015

Living In La Mesa – The “New” La Mesa Library

In La Mesa, San Diego County, Things to do in La Mesa, Uncategorized on January 27, 2014 at 9:37 pm

The “New” La Mesa Library

La Mesa Library

One of the great things about living in La Mesa is the welcoming library we enjoy.  Located at 8074 Allison Avenue is what we will likely call the “new” library for many years to come.  This library was built in 2008 along with a new post office and new fire station.  When you drive up to the library you will likely see the fire station to the left, but you will have to pull into the parking lot and take a right at the top of the incline to find the post office.

Inside La Mesa Library

Not every community today has a library that is open daily but the La Mesa Library has hours 7 days a week.

Mon-Thurs 9:30AM – 8PM, Fri & Sat 9:30AM – 5PM, and Sun 12 -5PM.  They offer a wide variety of programs including children’s storytimes, teen activities and reading club, adult information meetings covering such subjects as Foster Parenting, Taxes and the Affordable Care Act, as well as book clubs,  e-tutoring, Scrabble Club, Chess Club and Knitting Club.  For more information visit their website www.sdcl.org or call or text a librarian at 619 469-2152.

La Mesa Library Card

What do you enjoy about the “new” La Mesa Library?   Thinking of buying a home in La Mesa?  Click 3 bedroom 2 bath homes for sale in La Mesa to check out what is currently available on the market.

See you in the neighborhood,

Karen Urata

DRE License # 01720025

Century 21 Award

(619) 454-7959

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

Is It a Buyer’s Market or a Seller’s Market?

In CA, El Cajon, Escondido, Mission Valley, North San Diego County, Oceanside, Poway, Ramona, Real Estate, San Diego County, San Marcos, Santee, Uncategorized, Vista on January 11, 2013 at 5:08 am
Interest Rates

Interest Rates (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

Is it a buyer’s market or a seller’s market? is probably the question that I hear most often and of course, the answer to that question changes over time.

Sometimes, when there are lots of homes on the market, and not too many ready willing and able buyers, we see a buyer’s market.  This means that, generally speaking, buyers are in a position to ask for concessions, such as a laundry list of repairs, extensive credits, and often make offers under the list price.  Buyers often try to time their purchase for a buyer’s market because they feel that they can get more house for their money that way.  Other times, when there are lots of buyers and not too many homes on the market, we see a seller’s market.  This means that, generally speaking, sellers are in a position to ask for concessions, such as no contingencies, no repairs and purchase prices exceeding the list price.  Sellers often try to time to time their sale for a seller’s market because they feel that they can get the best return on their home  that way.

But sometimes, like now, we see a market that is both a buyer’s market and a seller’s market at the same time.  That can happen when there is low inventory, or few homes available on the market creating a larger return for sellers and low-interest rates, that result in buyers actually getting more home for their money.

What the heck, how does that work?  Well, the largest factor in the actual cost of a home is the interest rate, not the purchase price.  Did you know that a change (reduction) of half a percent on a home with the loan amount of $300,000  from3.5% interest to 3% interest represents a reduction of  $82.32 an month  in your monthly payment. Your principle payment would drop from $1347.13 to $1264.81.   In this example, the half a percent interest rate change represents approximately $20,000 more in purchasing power.  In other words, you would have approximately the same principle payment on a loan amount of $300,000 at 3.5% interest as you would on a loan amount of $320,000 at $3.0% interest, not to mention that now you can qualify for  a home that has $20,000 worth of additional features that you would not have qualified for at the higher interest rate.  This could actually change the neighborhood that you live in or the size of the house your family grows up in.

Having the right knowledge can really make a difference in maximizing the benefit for everyone in a transaction.  If you are thinking of buying or selling now is a great time.

Just call me and we can talk about how you can maximize your benefit when buying or selling in this buyer’s and seller’s market in San Diego County.

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

If You Are Thinking Of Doing a Short Sale You Need to Know About This Deadline

In Avoid Foreclosure, CA, El Cajon, Escondido, La Mesa, Mission Valley, Norh San Diego County, Oceanside, Poway, Ramona, Real Estate, San Diego County, San Marcos, Santee, Uncategorized, Vista on June 26, 2012 at 11:15 pm
Tax

Tax (Photo credit: 401K 2012)

If you are in a position where you feel you might need to do a short sale you need to know about this upcoming deadline.  The Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 is set to expire at the end of 2012.

What does this mean to you?  It means that the temporary provision to waive the taxes that are due on the amount of “income” that is created (on paper) when a debt is forgiven is to expire at th end of this year.  Yes,  you heard that correctly, the government considers the dollar amount of the difference between what you owe on your home and the amount that you are able to now sell your home, (the amount that the bank is forgiving on your loan as the result of a short sale), as income to you that you must pay taxes on.  When you consider that the average amount of time, (your experience may vary), to complete a short sale has been about 6 months that makes this valuable information that must be considered.

Based on this, now is a good time to start the process by getting your home on the market.  Here is a link to the IRS information regarding this deadline http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=179414,00.html.

Please let me know if I can help with this in any way or if you just have questions about the process.  I am here to help.

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

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

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