Ways to Hold Title on Real Property

I was just speaking with title officer Brandon Miller from Fidelity Title about some of the different ways people can hold title to their real estate. He sent me this fantastic cheat sheet that I would like to share with you.imgres

Why should people should put their home in a Trust?  (This makes sure that if something happens to you, your loved ones have a directive on how to take care of your property.  It keeps it out of costly and time consuming probate!  PLEASE, if you love your family, get a trust.)  Why do investors want a property to be held in an LLC?  What protections does an LLC offer?

Below is a single sheet from Brandon Miller of Fidelity Title that makes it all clear and easy to understand.

Ways to Hold Title of Real Property

If you have any questions Brandon or I would be happy to talk with you about pros and cons of your options.
Brandon Miller
Fidelity National Title

Financing Makes It Easy to Green Your Next Home

One of the main reasons I educate myself in “Green Real Estate” is to make it more affordable to buy a home.  Using the programs that are in place many people can make upgrades to homes they need to make their home more comfortable, healthier, safer and better to live in.

Financing Makes It Easy to Green Your Next Home.

One really great resource is a free program with SoCal Gas:

George Kopf
Energy Advisor
BPI Certified Building Analyst
SoCalGas® funded Home Energy Advising 


600 Wilshire Blvd #202  •  Los Angeles, CA 90017

Rain Barrel Pick-Up Free with Rebate May 31st.

Rain Barrels International IMG_2538Don’t miss your chance to get up to 4 rain barrels free with rebate.  Follow the links to purchase your rain barrel at: Rain Barrels International  You can only do one one-time rebate per household so make sure you get enough for your whole yard.

South Robertson Neighborhood Council

Orders are now being taken for a May 31, 2015 pickup date. Distribution will be from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Hamilton High School, 2955 South Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA. Only rain barrels ordered in advance on the form below are guaranteed to be available.

Specifications of each rain barrel:
Designed with brass spigot for garden hose attachment
Barrel has a screen to prevent mosquitoes from accessing water
Side brass overflow
Made from plastic reused food grade barrels
Color Available: Black and Terra Cotta
*Color subject to availability

Price – $85.00 each

Payment is made via Paypal Secure Network after the form below is filled out.

For questions contact info@RainBarrelsIntl.com


Save Water – Save LA Great Success.

Flip Your Home Can Help

Flip Your Home

We don’t want to buy your home, we want to help you sell it for more money! 

Flip Your Home

Flip Your Home is a team of real estate and remodeling experts getting sellers maximum profits by connecting investors to pay for renovations.

You own or inherited a home that is or has become too difficult to maintain.  The systems are old, outdated, and potentially unsafe.  You might want to unload the property or retire to an easier life, but can’t sell the house getting the profits you need.  You might be over your head and feel helpless, but Flip Your Home can help you find the hidden gold hidden in your property.

You could fix up your own property for resale, but you don’t have the money, time or skill to renovate a home. Meanwhile, the biggest investment you ever made left you penniless and hopeless.  WE ARE NOT TRYING TO BUY YOUR HOME!

 What if we could get an investor to pay for renovations to your home and you could split the profits when it sells? The investor pays for the construction and everyone comes out ahead at the end of the transaction when your house sells for more than the current, unrenovated value.

 Your investment is your home — There is NO COST TO YOU. The Flip Your Home team uses its knowledge of the market, investors and contractors to create a marketable home.  We are professional home designers, builders and marketers who have years of experience flipping homes.

We work WITH your home, managing the process every step of the way, to renovate and sell your home for maximum value.

With the Flip Your Home program investors partner with the homeowner. The homeowner’s part of the investment is their home: you, as the investor, provide money for the renovations. The profits get divided between you and the homeowner with a small Flip Your Home service fee


Each deal is individually negotiated. All projects must be pre-qualified. Each investment is a risk and no profits are guaranteed.

(844) 2 FLP HOM (844) 235 – 7466 info@flip-your-home.com
© Copyright 2014 Flip Your Home LLC. All rights reserved.

Financing Makes It Easy to Green Your Next Home

Financing Makes It Easy to Green Your Next Home.

It’s easy to fall in love with a fixer-upper, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer on a budget.  You see the character, charm, and potential of a home, but worry about the costs to modernize and upgrade it, right?

You’ve got more options than you think. The best time to undertake green home improvements — to transform a fixer into a comfortable home with lower utility bills – is during your new home purchase process. A new generation of innovative programs allows you to finance the cost of your renovations through your mortgage. That means one mortgage, one closing, and no additional money down. Talk to your lender about the following options:

FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage
Finance the cost of improvements through a current or new FHA mortgage for 1-4 unit existing single family homes and condos, with no additional income qualification or cash down. Can be used for a range of upgrades, from HVAC modifications to insulation and windows.

FHA 203k Loan
Finance a broad range of repairs and renovations—including energy efficiency upgrades—up to $35,000 for the 203 streamline or $150,000 for the 203K full. Improvements must be completed within 120 days of closing.

Escrow Holdback
This conventional financing option can fund up to 10% of the improved value of the home, or $25,000. Upgrades must be completed within 30 days of closing.

Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation Mortgage
This conventional home loan provides a convenient way for borrowers to make renovations, repairs, or improvements totaling up to 50 percent of the as-completed value of the property.

Fannie Mae HomePath Renovation Mortgage (REO or Real Estate Owned properties)
This conventional home loan provides an additional 20 percent of the purchase price or $30,000, whichever is less, to pay for a wide range of repairs to HomePath-branded homes owned by Fannie Mae.

Jumbo Renovation
Finance up to $250,000 in major renovations through your mortgage, from green upgrades to kitchen and bathroom remodels. Can be used only for primary, owner-occupied residences



If you need help with these, I would be happy to point you in the right direction.

A Realtor’s Stage Production

All the Sales a StageI have come to realize selling houses is a bit like being in a play. You are so excited to get the role (listing), you study the lines (features of home), rehearse (create marketing materials), perform the show (open houses- negotiations-inspections-negotiations again) take a curtain call (sign off on contingencies) then when the show is over (the sale goes through) you get sad the project is over and are back to looking for another role.

I am happy and sad to have sold another one.

Homeowners win big with extension and expansion of federal tax credit

The U.S. House of Representatives today voted 403 to 12 to extend and expand the home buyer tax credit. The bill passed the U.S. Senate late yesterday and now will go to President Obama for his signature, where it is expected to be signed this week.

The tax credit will be extended through April 30, 2010, with a 60-day extension if a binding contract is in place prior to the deadline. First-time home buyers will continue to receive a tax credit of up to $8,000, while existing homeowners will receive a credit of up to $6,500. Existing homeowners will be eligible for the $6,500 if they have lived in their current residences for at least five years. The bill also will increase the qualifying income limits from $75,000 for single tax filers and $150,000 for joint filers to $125,000 and $225,000, respectively. The purchase price of the home is capped at $800,000.

Under additional provisions in the bill, taxpayers can claim the credit on purchases completed in 2010 on their 2009 income tax returns. The bill maintains the provision that home buyers do not have to repay the credit, provided the home remains their primary residence for 36 months after purchase, and waives this requirement for active duty military personnel who move due to a military order.

For weeks, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS (C.A.R and its members have urged Congress and the U.S. Senate to extend and expand this crucial piece of legislation.

Nationwide, more than 1.4 million first-time home buyers were given the opportunity to become homeowners as a result of the Federal Tax Credit for First-time Home Buyers. According to C.A.R. research, nearly 40 percent of first-time home buyers surveyed said they would not have purchased a home without the federal tax credit, and approximately 70 percent said the tax credit was “the most important” or a “very important” factor in their decision to buy a home.

Senate likely to extend homebuyers’ tax credit

Washington (CNN) — Senate leaders have reached a tentative deal to extend the first-time homebuyers’ tax credit that was originally passed earlier this year as part of the stimulus bill, Republican and Democratic sources told CNN on Wednesday.

The agreement would extend and expand the credit to include current homeowners who want to move, according to the sources.

The original credit in the stimulus bill is set to expire at the end of November and offers a tax credit of $8,000 to first-time homebuyers.

Senate sources told CNN they have tentatively agreed to extend that $8,000 credit for first-time buyers until the end of April. In addition, they are adding a $6,500 credit for some current homeowners who buy a new residence by then.

To qualify, current homeowners must have lived in their primary residence for five continuous years.

Senators have not agreed on how the tentative deal would come up for a vote, but sources from both parties said they are considering adding the housing credit to a bill that would extend unemployment benefits.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has indicated she also is interested in extending the homeowner credit, but House leaders have yet to endorse any one bill.

CNN’s Ted Barrett, Dana Bash and Lisa Desjardins contributed to this story.

7 New Rules for First-Time Homebuyers


Published: September 12, 2009

Too many people bought too much house for too many years.

Yes, the financial system almost collapsed because mortgage bankers and brokers told lies about loan terms and loosened standards in dangerous ways, and investment bankers packaged those loans into bonds that were far more toxic than ratings agencies predicted.

But the roots of the mortgage contagion lie with all of us and our desire to own just a bit more house.

So as the one-year anniversary arrives of our near financial collapse, it’s a good time to blow up a long-standing but underexamined maxim of real estate – that you should always stretch financially when buying your first home.

No one is quite sure who came up with this idea, though suspicions rest on real estate agents or kindly parents with the best of intentions who never expected that real estate prices could fall. Whatever its origin, the economists and financial planners I spoke with this week are almost unanimous in their rejection of it.

Here’s how they dismantled the old saw – and a list of seven suggestions they offered up in its place.

START WITH THE BASICS Let’s begin with some other standards, tried and true advice that served banks and borrowers well for years, until they forgot all about them in the race to write more loans and buy bigger houses. Put 20 percent down, so you have less of a chance of owing more than your home is worth if prices fall again. Get a fixed-rate mortgage, so the biggest part of your monthly housing bill remains stable.

If you’re determined to be truly conservative, don’t spend more than about 35 percent of your pretax income on mortgage, property tax and home insurance payments. Bank of America, which adheres to the guidelines that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac set, will let your total debt (including student and other loans) hit 45 percent of your pretax income, but no more.

That said, if you end up with an adjustable-rate loan, banks may not be concerned with whether you’ll be able to afford the maximum possible payment when the interest rate adjusts in five or seven years. But you should be worried about it.

CONSIDER YOUR INCOME The best case for stretching for a first house is that first-time home buyers in their 20s and 30s will probably see their incomes grow more quickly than older people buying their second or third home.

Harvey S. Rosen, a Princeton economics professor, finds in a forthcoming Journal of Finance article that he co-wrote with two Federal Reserve Bank economists, Kristopher Gerardi and Paul S. Willen, that the size of a house that someone buys tends to be a good indicator of what their income will be later. “People can, on average, make reasonably good predictions of their future incomes and act on them in sensible ways by buying bigger houses,” Mr. Rosen said.

Indeed, much of the mess in the mortgage market has been because of people borrowing money with loans that they didn’t understand – or betting that housing prices would continue to rise enough that they would be able to refinance their loans before the payments rose. Income overconfidence may have had something to do with it (and high unemployment worsened the problems), but it’s probably not the primary cause.

BOW TO UNKNOWNS This research is all well and good as long as you continue to work. But if you’re buying your first home before you have children, you may feel quite differently about work once you become a parent. And if you do, you may not want a mortgage boxing you in to going back to the office three months after the baby is born.

Bobbie D. Munroe, a financial planner with Fraser Financial in Atlanta, encourages younger clients in this situation to model out their budget, including any proposed mortgage, three ways – with both spouses working full time, one working part time and one staying at home for a few years. She also suggests imagining or even practicing living on one income, to see if it’s truly realistic.

“What people should do is ultimately their own decision,” she said. “But they should do it with eyes wide open.”

Even people who don’t want to have children need to consider this. Besides the obvious possibility of sustained unemployment, what about the need to escape a dying industry or an early midlife crisis that necessitates career change to stave off depression? Even government employees and medical residents who believe that their incomes are set for life ought to consider this possibility.

MAP OUT EXPENSES It stands to reason that anyone tempted to stretch for a house will be inclined to play down the expense of maintaining it. These costs are anything but ancillary, though.

For many years, Dennis G. Stearns, a financial planner in Greensboro, N.C., has been alarmed enough by clients’ unrealistic expectations that he’s maintained a home cost spreadsheet that he shares with clients shopping for houses. He also updates it periodically with aggregate, real-world data based on their subsequent experiences.

Mr. Stearns estimates that owners of a newer home that do some work for themselves but contract major work out to others will pay 3.6 percent of the original purchase price annually for maintenance and 4.5 percent if it’s an older home. So if you own a $400,000 home, your costs will probably hit the five figures each year – and may rise with inflation. These expenses will be another 20 percent or so higher if you live in a severe weather area. He does note, however, that the tax benefits of home ownership can offset half or more of these costs in some areas of the country.

BUY BEST (OR CHEAPEST) All of these caveats have given rise to some unusual strategies. Michael Kalscheur, a financial planner with Castle Wealth Advisors in Indianapolis, suggests buying the dream house you covet (if you can afford it) or an inexpensive starter house but not anything in the middle.

“If people have their heart set on something, inevitably, if they can’t afford what they really want, they buy the next best thing,” he said. “That’s absolutely the worst thing you can do. Not only do you not get what you want, but it sucks you dry.”

Why? Well, if you buy that entry-level home instead of the silver-medal home, you can save a lot more money each month after making the house payment (as long as you’re disciplined) than you would if you were paying a big mortgage toward that next best house. And all of your other housing costs will be lower, too. Then, several years later, you’re in a much better position to buy what you actually want.

STRETCH THE HOUSE Better yet, keep in mind that you don’t ever have to move from that first home – and incur all of the transaction costs associated with selling and buying and moving again.

J. Michael Collins, an assistant professor in the department of consumer science at University of Wisconsin’s School of Human Ecology in Madison, suggests paying less for a home that you can upgrade periodically when your income is stable and your savings or available credit make it possible.

In other words, stretching out your tenure in a home (and the physical boundaries of the home itself) may make more sense than stretching for each successive mortgage in a series of two or more houses.

THE EIGHT-HOUR RULE One rule about all of these rules is that it’s unlikely that every one will apply to every circumstance. Individuals and their income streams are too varied, and real estate markets are themselves unique.

When all else fails, however, you can always fall back on the eight-hour test. Whatever the size of your mortgage, you have to be able to sleep soundly at night. So if an impending loan has you stretching for the Ambien, it’s a pretty good sign that the loan is a bit of a stretch as well.