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For Sale: 2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i

Here’s your chance to pick up a beautiful, gently used 2011 BMW X3 with xDrive 35i for a fraction of what a new BMW costs. This luxury crossover has indisputable “Understated” goodlooks, an athletic character and smooth power.

bmw

This beauty has been pampered and sports only 40,435 miles. As you can see it has the classic BMW silver paint with a black interior.

  • 4 doors… 3.0 L 6 cylinder engine…
  • Horsepower: 300 hp
  • MPG: 19 city / 26 highway
  • Vehicle Dimensions: 183″ L x 74″ W x 65″ H

4 wheel drive for those impromptu trips to Big Bear Mountain during the Winter.

For more information and an opportunity to see/test drive this impressive crossover call 619-517-4954 today.

Welcome Back Ladies!

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A Few small Changes That Make a BIG Impact

According to today’s buyers, the kitchen and the master bathroom are most critiqued rooms in a home. What does this mean for sellers? They should look to improve these two influential rooms first. Whether undertaking a major remodel or making small improvements, these are the two most lived in rooms in the home and they draw the most attention.

Show Off The Improvements

During a tour, most buyers will notice and appreciate a new vanity or countertops more than new gutters. They also notice and appreciate fresh paint and carpets. But it can be overwhelming for homeowners to consider all the potential upgrades when preparing a home for sale. However, there are two rooms that should not be ignored. If sellers are tight on budget and time, they should turn their focus to these two rooms first.

  • Create a chef’s kitchen buyers can see themselves cooking in
  • Turn a basic bathroom into a spa-like oasis where buyers want to escape

While the kitchen and master bathroom are the most expensive areas of the home in terms of remodeling, there are some budget-friendly ways to make improvements buyers will notice.


Turn up the Heat in the Kitchen

Kitchens are the heart of a home and so sellers should pay attention to detail when planning improvements.

Kitchen_Upgrades_for_Sellers.png

 

Here are some of the most popular kitchen projects with the highest return on investment:

1. Install all real wood cabinets. Buyers are rarely impressed with flimsy shelves and composite materials. If attaching hardware, keep it neutral in style.

2. Buy commercial appliances, or go for the look of commercial. Upscale cooktops and ranges create real impact in the kitchen.

3. Seek to use natural wood, dark laminate wood or stone floors that clean easily. Spills can happen anywhere, but they are very common in the kitchen. Avoid light floor colors and grout as they show dirt and stains easier.

4. Install stone or granite countertops. Tile countertops are difficult to keep clean for the same reason tile floors are – the grout stains easily. Single material countertops, which are clean and easy to wipe down, are a favorite of most home chefs. They look beautiful too.

5. Update the lighting fixtures. Sellers will be amazed at the return they get from simply upgrading the kitchen lighting. Whenever remodeling to sell, keep in mind style varies, so keep items as neutral as possible.

Bonus Tip: When showing the home, declutter and organize the kitchen counters. Hide the coffee maker and toaster. Remove all clutter and magnets from the fridge. You’ll be surprised at how much larger your kitchen looks without the clutter.

Create a Spa-Like Oasis in the Master Bathroom

Sellers don’t have to do a lot to make a big improvement in the master bathroom. A new tub liner, or “shell,” can make a marred tub look like new and save the seller from having to replace it.

Spa-like_bathroom_remodel.jpg

If not replacing the vanity, a new faucet, new lights, fresh caulking around the tub, a new towel rack and a new mirror can make a tired bathroom come alive.

Spa-Like Bathroom Upgrades Buyers Love Include:

  • Walk-in showers
  • Dual Vanity
  • Stone or natural wood flooring
  • Modern and bright lighting fixtures
  • Ample storage space for towels and personal care products

Bonus Tip: For bathrooms, always display a sparkling clean bathtub and commode. There should be no dirty clothes or even hampers visible. The bathroom should be clean and smell fresh.

A kitchen or bath upgrade can be as simple as a weekend-long, low-budget brush-up. With the right planning, some of the most noticeable repairs do not require much. A fresh facelift will go a long way in the buyer’s mind.

And, as for the other areas of the house, don’t skip a fresh coat of paint and replace the carpets. These details add value and make the home more attractive to buyers.

 

Keep Your Home California!!

keep your home caKeep Your Home California is being expanded and receiving $463 million in additional federal money to aid troubled homeowners.

The federal expansion was authorized as part of the $1.1-trillion federal funding bill Congress passed in December.

Homes for sale in Rancho Bernardo

Keep Your Home California, has been awarded nearly $2 billion since 2012.

According to the Treasury Department the program has assisted 54,000 California homeowners as of Sept. 30.

California will receive the money by the end of this April and the program is extended thru the end 2020.

Find Rentals and Homes here….

Keep Your Home California offers monthly mortgage assistance to the unemployed or underemployed, as well as principal reduction and other assistance.

What does this really mean to you?

Here is a blurb from the Federal Housing Finance Agency regarding HARP. At the end I have boiled it down for you…. you definitely want to read that …. it could save you money.

Home Affordable Refinance Program
Home Affordable Refinance Program

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently reported that the number of loans refinanced through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) through the fourth quarter totaled 3,380,558 since the inception of the program in 2009.  FHFA’s fourth quarter Refinance Report shows that 21,079 HARP refinances were completed between September and December.

Homes for sale in San Marcos

FHFA estimates that as of third quarter 2015, more than 367,600 borrowers nationwide still have a financial incentive to refinance through HARP before the program expires in December 2016.  FHFA is starting a social media campaign, #HARPNow, focusing outreach efforts on the top 10 states with the highest numbers of “in-the-money” borrowers that remain eligible for a HARP refinance:  Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Georgia, California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Maryland.

Borrowers are considered “in-the-money” if they meet the basic HARP eligibility requirements, have a remaining mortgage balance of $50,000 or more, have a remaining term of greater than 10 years, and an interest rate at least 1.5 percent higher than current market rates.

Call me immediately if you think you fit in this category of homeowner. Let’s see if we can save you money on your mortgage.

JRThrasherContact

 

Talmadge Condo Cutie Under $169k

You asked for it, you got it. Now is the time if you have been looking for a home in Talmadge! I actually know the owner and home, it has been well taken care of, has 1 large bedroom with the bath and toilet separated from the sink area. This home has lots of light with vaulted ceilings and stainless steel appliances.

The complex is built in the Hacienda style and is well maintained. I met the President of the HOA and can promise you that there is pride in ownership. This particular unit has Saltillo tiles throughout to give you that Hacienda feel. It’s a groovy complex and there is parking too.

Photos will be coming soon… until then enjoy these images of the Talmadge sisters…. there is more info on them below.

If you are looking for a great place to put your money while the markets are free falling… this condo has rented for $1,000 monthly in the past.

This place will not last long…. there simply are very few homes at this price.

Interesting information about the Talmadge community according to Wikipedia:

The community is named after the Talmadge sisters (Norma, Natalie and Constance), who were silent film stars. In 1927, the Talmadge sisters opened the Talmadge Park real estate development, which contains streets named for each of the sisters.

The architecture in Talmadge is eclectic, with styles including Spanish Revival, California bungalows, Cape Cod cottages and Normandy Style homes. Cliff May, a renowned Southern California architect, designed several homes in Talmadge. Kensington and Talmadge are sometimes grouped together as one community for official purposes, and they are part of the same community planning area.

JRThrasherContact

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Before going to H&R Block, Your Accountant or Tax Preparer

UncleSamImpersonator

  • KNOW what you’re signing-  I’m guilty of this myself and so are many of our clients. I hand over all my paperwork to my accountant – let him do the math and sign the returns when done.  Sometimes I get a refund, often I owe money.  I don’t really know what’s going on with my taxes, I trust my guy. For many of our clients they operate the same way.  However, in the year or two leading up to the purchase or refinance of a home, our clients need to know what NET numbers are showing on their taxes. I cannot tell you how many times I talk to clients who are shocked to find out that they think they make $200,000 a year; however, are only showing net income on their tax returns of $72,000 a year.  Our clients need to realize that it is this taxable net income that is used for qualifying – not the gross income clients have in mind.
  • Beware of 2106 expenses-   Hidden on page 2 of a standard tax return is something called 2106 expenses. These are non-reimbursed business expenses.  This figure, if present, is deducted dollar-for-dollar from the approved income.  So, a teacher who makes $65,000 – yet claims $20,000 in non-reimbursed business expenses such as supplies and training not reimbursed by their employer, will only have net income of $45,000 to go towards the loan approval.
  • Change of entity types –  Usually clients are looking to buy a home right around the time they start to make more money.  Unfortunately, this increase in income usually comes with an accountant who recommends the formation of a new entity [through which our potential buyer is getting paid].  For example, let’s take a self-employed make-up artist who has recently increased her earnings from $75,000 a year to $175,000 a year due to a new show she is working on.  This increase in income may simultaneously prompt her to want to buy a house, but may also prompt a change in the nature by which she receives her income.  Changing from a Self-employed Schedule C on the tax returns, to a S-corporation with a new pay structure can kill your ability to get the loan done.  There are LOTS of solutions and workarounds here, however, like most things, we need some time to plan.  We need to get the pre-approvals to your lender early so we can game-plan and work with underwriting on a solution.
  • Reviewing draft tax returns –  If you don’t know what your signing, that’s what we are here for.  My team is happy to review a draft copy of the 2015 tax returns with your clients BEFORE you file with the IRS. This will allow us to review the income, expenses and deductions prior to the final returns being filed.

 

Real Estate agents are here to help you buy/sell a home. REALTOR teams take it to the next level by assembling professionals to assist you in making wise financial decisions for you and your family. Make sure you surround yourself with a team that understands your needs and will work with you to achieve them.

JRThrasherContact

 

Beware: California Foreclosure Rescue Companies Scamming Hispanics

A trio of California foreclosure rescue companies targeted Hispanics with fake loan modifications, offering the false promise of mortgage relief in exchange for thousands of dollars, the Department of Housing and Urban Development alleged Tuesday.

HUD announced Tuesday that it is charging three California-based foreclosure rescue companies, The Home Loan Auditors, Century Law Center and SOE Assistance Center, with violating the Fair Housing Act by targeting Hispanic homeowners for “illegal or unfair loan audit and loan modification assistance because of their national origin.”

According to HUD, from 2008 to 2010 these three companies and nine of their agents lured struggling Hispanic homeowners into paying thousands of dollars for home loan audits that the homeowners never received and promised loan modification services that actually had little, if any, value.

HUD also said that the companies allegedly exploited the homeowners’ limited English proficiency and used deceptive marketing in Spanish, including making false representations, in order to mislead them into paying for loan modification services.

“Families struggling to stay in their homes need real help, not false promises that make a bad situation worse,” said Gustavo Velasquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD will continue to take appropriate action against individuals and companies that victimize unsuspecting homeowners because of where they come from or the language they speak.”

According to the complaint from HUD, The Home Loan Auditors allegedly created several Spanish-language promotional vides and other presentations that falsely presented the company’s ability to secure loan modifications.

HUD alleges that in one THLA video, a caption in Spanish stated “REMEMBER A LOAN MODIFICATION WITHOUT AN AUDIT IS LIKE GOING TO COURT WITHOUT EVIDENCE.”

HUD’s complaint notes that home loan audits are “useless” in securing a loan modification or any form of mortgage relief.

HUD’s complaint also alleges that THLA directly solicited some consumers with Spanish-language letters replete with misleading information.

In one example provided by HUD, the solicitation letter was an “official-looking” form that falsely stated in Spanish that the borrower’s mortgage provider was currently under investigation for fraudulent mortgage practices and promised that if the borrower became part of a lawsuit against the lender, the borrower could stop their foreclosure, reduce their monthly mortgage payments, reduce the balance owed on their loan, and/or receive monetary compensation.

In another example, a borrower was promised that their mortgage payment would be reduced to reflect the “current market value” of their home in exchange for $10,000.

The borrower was then instructed to stop communicating with their lender and stop paying their mortgage as well.

HUD notes that until contacting THLA and engaging in its services, the borrower had been current on their mortgage and only fell behind in their payments when instructed to do so by THLA.

HUD states that all the affected homeowners ultimately lost their properties due to foreclosure.

HUD notes that its charge will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge unless any party to the charge elects to have the case heard in federal district court.

If an administrative law judge finds after a hearing that discrimination has occurred, he or she may award damages to the complainants for their loss as a result of the discrimination.

The judge may also order injunctive relief and other equitable relief, to deter further discrimination, as well as payment of attorney fees. In addition, the judge may impose civil penalties in order to vindicate the public interest. If the case is heard in federal court, the judge may also award punitive damages to the complainants.

Recent articles by Ben Lane

Ben Lane is the Senior Financial Reporter for HousingWire. In this role, he helps set a leading pace for news coverage spanning the issues driving the U.S. housing economy. Previously, he worked for TownSquareBuzz, a hyper-local news service. He is a graduate of University of North Texas.

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