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6 Reasons to use your VA Benefits

houseWhen it comes to finding a home for you and your family, getting the best possible mortgage sets you up for success. For those who are eligible, a VA (Veteran’s Administration) mortgage loan offers a number of enticing benefits that may make sense for your home purchase. Here are some of the biggest advantages of VA loans:

1. No money down required. Coming up with a large down payment is a huge barrier for many home buyers. For a $200,000 home, a standard 20 percent down payment is $40,000. That is a lot of money for most families to save up. With a VA loan, so long as the purchase price doesn’t exceed the appraised value of the home, no down payment is required.

2. No private mortgage insurance (PMI) required. With traditional loans, if you require financing for more than 80 percent of a home’s appraised value, you’ll most likely be required to pay PMI monthly, which protects the lender if you default on the loan. This can cost many borrowers an extra $100 to $200 a month though some lenders have options that do not have a PMI requirement. VA loans, on the other hand, do not require PMI, even when receiving a loan for the entire appraised value of a house.

3. Strict limits on closing costs. Closing costs for traditional mortgage loans can add up quickly, but with a VA loan, strict limits are imposed on what closing costs are allowed.

4. Lower interest rates. Because VA mortgages are partially guaranteed by the VA, lenders are encouraged to offer more favorable terms than conventional loans. This can often translate into lower interest rates than those for conventional mortgages.

5. Potentially lower minimum credit score to qualify. The VA doesn’t set a minimum credit score requirement, although many VA lenders have guidelines for minimum credit scores for qualification. Your lender may look past your credit score to see your unique financial situation to help get you the best VA loan possible.

6. No prepayment penalty. Traditional mortgages may penalize you for paying off your loan early, but with a VA loan, there is no penalty for eliminating your mortgage ahead of schedule. If you’re able and decide that you want to pay off your mortgage, you’re not forced to keep unnecessary debt.

Ready to get started on your path to home ownership? Start with getting pre-approved for a mortgage that fits your needs and goals.

Article provided by Navy Federal Credit Union. When shopping for a VA home loan consult your local REALTOR for information on which lenders provide the best and quickest service for you and your family. Your working REALTOR has experience with multiple lenders and can provide you with a wealth of information on the lenders loan servicing time and their clients overall satisfaction with the lenders.

JRThrasherContact

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If you’ve lived in your home for 10 years or more, it’s likely outdated with today’s buyers. The truth is, though, you don’t need a massive remodel or renovation to sell your home for top dollar. Actually, smaller updates and repairs tend to have a higher return on your dollar than the bigger ones.

I’ve put together a list of the most effective upgrades you can make to maximize your money when the time comes to sell. These upgrades give you the best chance to get a positive return on the money you put in.

Homes for sale in the best school district in San Diego

I’ve grouped them into two segments – the smaller, quicker fixes that can be done for under $500, and the larger, more substantial ones that can be done, but will cost you a little more than $500.

Remember – these are the kinds of things that will earn you your money back and more when it comes time to sell:

$500 or less:

  1. Bring out a real estate professional (FREE): We’ll tell you exactly where to spend your time and effort to maximize your return.
  2. Deep clean/carpet clean ($200): Professionals will make the house shine, and show buyers that maintenance is important to you.
  3. Fixtures, knobs, pulls, switches, outlet covers ($300): You can modernize your house and make the fixtures uniform throughout; a detail that buyers will notice, and love.
  4. Gardening ($200): Well worth the professional service. Your curb appeal makes the first impression!
  5. Paint ($500): Offers the best return on investment, hands down. Go with soft, neutral colorize to appeal to the most buyers possible.

$500 and above:

  1. Get rid of popcorn/textured ceilings ($1,500): Instantly brings your home out of the 1980s.
  2. Bathroom upgrade ($2,000): Bathrooms are small, but they sell homes. Since they are small, you can paint, replace your vanity, get new faucets and figures, and sometimes even replace the tile for under $2,000. Other options include reglazing the tub, replacing the mirror, or adding a towel warmer.
  3. Kitchen upgrade ($3,000): Kitchens also sell homes, and you can upgrade without going overboard. Choose one or two key features to update, like a new stainless steel fridge, refinishing wood floors, replacing tile, or refacing cabinets.

All these upgrades are easy value adds, but the value of each one depends on your unique situation and what buyers are looking for in your area.

Homes for sale in the best school district in San Diego

To truly get the best idea of where to spend the smart money that will net you even more money when you sell, bring out a real estate professional for an expert plan. I’d love to share my expertise in the market with you and help you find the best places to make inexpensive repairs. Give me a call, send a text or send an email – let’s talk soon!

JRThrasherContact

Great News for Charter Schools!

From City Councilman Scott Sherman:

featurecd7_2Recently, the City Council approved my measure to reform the City of San Diego’s Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to ease permitting requirements on San Diego public charter schools.

Public charter schools serve over 21,000 students in 51 schools within the City of San Diego. Public charter schools have become an important educational option for thousands of San Diego parents. Unfortunately, the City’s burdensome CUP is enormously complex, time consuming, and expensive.

My plan achieved the following:

  • Revised municipal codes to reduce the permitting requirements to help charter schools obtain facilities
  • K-12 schools with less than 300 students will be permitted in residential multi-family, commercial regional, commercial office, and commercial community permitting zones
  • These revisions allow more money to go directly to education instead of navigating through the permitting process

We began working with public charter schools and affiliate organizations after being contacted by four charter schools in my district having trouble navigating the burdensome permitting process.

Thousands of San Diego working families depend on charter schools throughout San Diego to educate their children.

I applaud the City Council for approving this important measure. It will now be easier for charter schools to obtain quality facilities and allow for more funding to be directed to students instead of for consultants to navigate the complex bureaucratic process.

As always, if you see a problem in the community that needs to be fixed, please contact my office at 619-236-6677 or email ScottSherman@SanDiego.Gov and we will look into the issue right away.

JRThrasherContact

Rates are rising: Lock in your 2016 rate with your $0 down VA loan benefit

contract imageThe VA loan benefit makes it easier for qualified borrowers to get a home loan of up to $417,000, buy a home with $0 down or streamline refinance to a lower rate.

  • Qualified borrowers:
  • Buy a home with $0 down
  • Refinance to lower monthly payments
  • Never pay PMI payments
  • Get competitive interest rates

Don’t wait for rates to rise…. Contact me today for a list of VA lenders our clients have used.

JRThrasherContact

 

Attn: Is your home financed by Bank of America?

Short Sale Update

February 4, 2016 

hosg

Distressed California Homeowners May Qualify for California’s Keep Your Home California Transition Assistance Program (TAP)     

If you live in California and feel that you can no longer afford your home and are pursuing a short sale or a deed in lieu of foreclosure, you may be eligible for financial help with your relocation to alternative housing.

Click here for San Diego Foreclosures

The funds come from the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), part of the Keep Your Home California Program.

The state of California is providing up to $5,000 in transition assistance to qualified homeowners who can no longer afford to stay in their homes. Here’s what you must do:

  • Apply for the funds through the “Keep Your Home California” website or by calling 1.888.954.5337.
  • Maintain their home until it is sold or returned to the lender via a negotiated deed in lieu of foreclosure.

For qualified homeowners, these state funds may be used in addition to any other transition assistance that the homeowner may receive by participating in the Federal Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program or in any other pre-offer short sale program.

Click here for San Diego Short Sales

To learn more about the Transition Assistance Program’s guidelines, and how you may qualify, please visit the program’s website at http://keepyourhomecalifornia.org. You can also call 1.888.954.5337 and identify yourself as a Bank of America customer.

To see the latest information home/rental information nationwide on your phone download my FREE mobile app here. It connects you directly to me, not some company that monitors your search habits and resales that information to third parties.

Proud to serve,

JRThrasherContact

Electrical Outlet Update

HQS Update – Electrical Outlets

In 2010, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued PIH Notice 2010-10 (HA) to clarify Housing Quality Standards (HQS) requirements when evaluating electrical outlets during inspections. The Housing Authority of the County of San Diego is now following these guidelines with all HQS inspections.

 

Types of outlets: outlet

 

Ungrounded Outlets
Older construction (pre-1975) housing will usually have ungrounded two-pronged outlets, which is an acceptable type of outlet under the HQS. (Figure 1) An owner does not need to upgrade the electrical system of the unit (convert two-pronged outlets to three-pronged) in order for the unit to pass an HQS inspection.

Grounded Outlets
Newer construction housing will usually have three-pronged outlets, which are acceptable under HQS if the outlets are grounded. (Figure 2)

“Upgraded” Outlets
Many of the cords for today’s appliances contain three-pronged plugs, which can cause problems when an older home does not have three-pronged outlets for these grounded plugs. In the case of older homes, owners often replace two-pronged, ungrounded outlets with three-pronged, grounded type outlets in order to establish appropriate outlets for appliances that have cords with three-pronged plugs. However, in some cases, owners may replace two-pronged, ungrounded outlets with the three-pronged, grounded type outlets without the necessary rewiring that adds a ground wire to the newly installed, grounded type outlet. Three-pronged, grounded type outlets should not be substituted for ungrounded outlets unless (1) a ground wire is connected to the outlet, or (2) a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) Breaker or outlet protects the outlet. (Figure 3, outlet option) Installing a new ground wire may require a licensed electrician to install a new wire to the circuit breaker box and may be prohibitively expensive. A more cost-effective method is to protect the outlet with a GFCI, which provides protection to the outlet. If the GFCI senses a difference in current flow between the hot and the neutral terminals, it shuts off the flow of current to the outlet.

GFCI breakers may also be used to protect the outlets.

An older construction house with a grounded outlet (Figure 2) would be an indication that the unit may have undergone some upgrading. In such cases, the Department recommends testing a sample of outlets in the unit to determine if three-pronged outlets are in proper operating condition, in addition to verifying the proper operating condition of the required number of outlets per room.

Three-pronged Outlets
A three-pronged outlet must meet one of the following three standards for the inspector to consider the outlet in “proper operating condition” as required by HQS:

1. The outlet is properly grounded.
2. A GFCI protects the three-pronged, ungrounded outlet. (a GFCI outlet does not need to be grounded)
3. The outlet complies with the applicable state or local building or inspection code.

tester
The inspector will use an outlet tester to determine whether the outlet is properly grounded. Units with Outlets that are not properly grounded or protected will not pass the HQS inspection. A GFCI can be located at the outlet that is being tested or upstream on the circuit of the outlet. The inspector should “trip” all of the GFCIs in the unit; both at the outlet and in the circuit breaker box and determine if there is power to the ungrounded outlet. If the power to the outlet is off, then one of the GFCIs protects the outlet.

Occasionally, a GFCI may be located on the circuit breaker at the load center (circuit breaker box).

The image below depicts a GFCI breaker: the distinctive indicator is the “Test” button mounted on the breaker.

breaker

An inspector may want to “trip” the GFCI in order to identify that the power shuts off to any ungrounded outlet that is protected by the breaker. To “trip” the GFCI, the inspector will press the test button and the switch will move and shut off power to the circuit. This allows the inspector to verify that the outlet is GFCI- protected.

A GFCI is in proper operating condition if pressing the “TEST” button on the GFCI trips the circuit and shuts off power through the receptacle.

Excerpted from HUD Notice PIH 2010-10 (HA)

Real Estate Search App For San Diego CA

By: J.R. Thrasher of San Diego Real Estate Veterans Lic# 01888955


Text KW2NXCXMK to 87778  and install the App NOW!

Enter the same code again when prompted once you install the app on your mobile device.

Get the most accurate and up-to-date real estate information right at your fingertips! Download the Keller Williams Realty Real Estate Search app for San Diego CA to your mobile device for great features like: customized searches, map draw, agent connection, and shareability!

You will need to enter the code KW2NXCXMK to activate the App.

San Diego Home Search Mobile App
San Diego Home Search Mobile App

QR code San Diego Home Search Mobile App
QR code San Diego Home Search Mobile App

San Diego Home Seach App Google Play
San Diego Home Seach App Google Play

To connect with me, enter code KW2NXCXMK when you install the KW app. – See more at:

 http://app.kw.com/kw/index.php?tcode=KW2NXCXMK&ctmpl=kw

Because Your Home Search Should Go Where You Do!

Get the most accurate real estate information right at your fingertips:

  • Easily connect with me and send property inquiries instantly.
  • Give your index finger a workout by drawing a perimeter or dropping a pinpoint on a dynamic map.
  • Customize searches and localize points of interest
  • See a home you like?  Scroll through vivid photos, add it to your favorites, or share the listing with a friend.
  • Estimate your home loan with a free mortgage calculator.
San Diego Home Search App Screen Views
San Diego Home Search App Screen Views

Download the Keller Williams Realty Real Estate Search app for San Diego CA

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