You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!
The holiday season definitely looks a little different this year. One thing we can do to bring joy and spread more holiday cheer is support our local small businesses. To make it that much easier for you, we've created the perfect his and hers holiday gift guides with products from our local shops for you to buy! Some stores offer online shipping options and others offer curbside pick-up. Whatever option you pick, know you're not only supporting that store but our whole South Bay community by shopping small this year!
If you’re thinking about moving, selling your house this fall might be the way to go. Here are four highlights in the housing market that may make your decision to sell this fall an easy one.
1. Buyers Are Actively in the Market
ShowingTime, a leading real estate showing software and market stat service provider, just reported that buyer traffic jumped 60.7% compared to this time last year. That’s a huge increase.
It’s clear that buyers are ready, willing, and able to purchase – and they’re in the market right now. In many regions of the country, multiple buyers are entering bidding wars to compete for the home they want. Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market so you can sell your house in the most favorable terms.
2. There Are Not Enough Homes for Sale
In the latest Existing Home Sales Report, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced that there were only 1.49 million units available for sale. That number was down 18.6% from one year ago. This means in the majority of the country, there aren’t enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers.
Due to the health crisis, many homeowners were reluctant to list their homes earlier this year. That will change as the economy continues to recover. The choices buyers have will increase going into the new year. Don’t wait until additional sellers come to market before you decide to make a move.
3. The Process Is Going Quickly
Today’s ultra-competitive environment has forced buyers to do all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and simpler, as buyers know exactly what they can afford before shopping for a home. According to the latest Origination Insights Report from Ellie Mae, the time needed to close a loan is just 49 days.
4. There May Never Be a More Important Time to Move
You’ve likely spent much of the last six months in your current home. Perhaps you now realize how small it is, and you need more space. If you’re working from home, your children are doing virtual school, or you just need more space, your current floor plan may not work for your family’s changing needs.
Homebuilders are beginning to build houses again, so you can choose the exact floor plan to match what your family needs, and you can make sure the outdoor space is what you want too.
The housing market is prime for sellers right now, so let’s connect to get the process started this fall. If the timing is right for you and your family, the market is calling your name.
Hi there guys/gals – As I mention in the video here…the devastation in Australia from the bushfire is heart-wrenching and my heart is with all people and wildlife in Australia that are affected. I’ve been racking my brain on how I/we can help. In an effort to support the cause I am offering up 2 (two) tickets to the Lakers vs. Clippers Game on January 1/28 (arguably two of the hottest teams in the NBA right now!) with the goal of raising funds for the devastation caused by the wildfires in Australia. Here’s how the raffle will work:
For every $5 donated from January 9th through January 19th, 2020 = You will get one entry into the raffle. You can donate more than $5 and get more chances to win. For example if you donate $50 you will get 10 entries into the raffle.
Donations must be made to a verified charitable organization. Suggested list of organizations below.
All emails with confirmation must be received by 11:59pm PST on January 19th to be entered into the raffle.
Drawing will take place on Jan 20th 2020.
Winner will be notified via email and will be mailed the tickets once address is confirmed.
This is being offered in good faith to encourage donation and help for Australia.
We will not be handling any money directly, you will make the donation directly to the Charity of your choice and supply the donation receipt to us via email to be entered to win.
ONLY Tickets will be provided. Transportation or other amenities will not be provided.
No member of Nick’s Real Estate Team will be eligible to win.
Tickets will be mailed to winner. Winner is responsible for tracking delivery instructions and collecting tickets.
Where to Donate – Suggested/Optional List below (source: USA today)
Fire departments: In both Victoria and New South Wales, two of the states hardest hit by the blazes, you can donate directly to the state fire authority or to a local fire brigade, many of which are volunteer-based. "Experience tells us that donation of money is much more effective and provides more flexibility than the donation of material items or pre-loved goods," the Victorian Country Fire Authority says on its website. For fire departments in Victoria, donate at cfa.vic.gov.au. For departments in New South Wales, donate on the government's website.
The New South Wales Rural Fire Service has also set up bank accounts to collect donations for the families of volunteer firefighters who have been killed while on duty. Donate at rfs.nsw.gov.au.
Families and Communities:
The Victorian Government, in partnership with Bendigo Bank and The Salvation Army, has established a fund for affected families and communities. According to the government's website, an advisory panel will recommend where funds are distributed. Donate at https://www.vic.gov.au/bushfireappeal
Australian Red Cross: Since July, the Australian Red Cross has assisted more than 18,600 people affected by the fires, according to its website. The organization says that it is currently supporting thousands of people in evacuation centers and recovery hubs. Learn more about where your money goes and donate at redcross.org.au.
(The American Red Cross is also accepting donations for bushfire relief efforts. More at redcross.org.)
First Nations Communities: Musician and community rights advocate Neil Morris, a Yorta Yorta man, has created a GoFundMe page to provide "culturally sensitive, specific direct support" to First Nations Communities displaced by the fires. Donations – which have reached nearly $600,000 – fund temporary relocation costs, basic amenities, resettling expenses and more. Learn more at au.gofundme.com.
Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal: This Australian nonprofit is raising funds to distribute as grants to rural and regional communities for disaster recovery projects. The grants could be used to repair community infrastructure, provide psychological support to those affected and more. Donate frrr.org.au.
GIVIT: Australian nonprofit GIVIT is collecting donation items requested by people affected by the fires. Items range from dog food to fencing materials. Read about what's needed and donate at givit.org.au/disasters.
Nearly 500 million animals — including mammals, birds and reptiles — have died in bushfires in New South Wales, Sydney University ecologist Chris Dickman told The Sydney Morning Herald. Many organizations are working to rescue and rehabilitate animals caught in the blazes.
WIRES: The New South Wales-based Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc., Australia's largest wildlife rescue organization, is accepting donations to fund the rescue and care of animals affected by the fires. In December, WIRES received more than 20,000 calls and volunteers attended more than 3,300 rescues, according to the organization's website. All animal rescuers are volunteers. Learn more at wires.org.au.
Koala Hospital Port Macquarie: This koala hospital in New South Wales is accepting donations to fund the rescue, treatment and release of koalas, as well as research and education about koalas. The hospital said Sunday that it is "inundated with supplies to treat burnt koalas" and is now sending boxes of veterinary supplies to the state's south coast, according to the hospital's Facebook page. Donate at koalahospital.org.au/shop/donation.
Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital: Bindi Irwin, the daughter of famed wildlife conservationist and "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, has been taking in many displaced animals at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, which is owned by her mother, Terri. The Queensland hospital is "busier than ever," Irwin said in an Instagram post. The zoo's Wildlife Warriors program has raised more than $400,000 for new enclosures to house flying foxes and koalas injured or displaced by fires. Donate at azwh.blackbaud-sites.com.
Wildlife Victoria: A nonprofit that provides wildlife emergency response services, Wildlife Victoria is accepting donations to distribute to wildlife shelters to help rebuild enclosures and equipment, the organization says on its website. Donate at wildlifevictoria.org.au.
RSPCA Australia: The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Australia, the nation's leading animal welfare charity, is accepting donations to fund the rescue and treatment of animals affected by the fires. RSPCA chapters in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia are accepting donations.
Zoos Victoria: A nonprofit conservation organization of three zoos in this Australian state, Zoos Victoria is collecting donations to fund emergency veterinary assistance and scientific intervention for affected animals. "What is required right now are funds to ensure we are best placed to deploy this assistance when the time comes," the organization's website says. Learn more at donate.zoo.org.au/donation.
Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park: This wildlife park in South Australia is raising money for koala veterinary costs, koala milk and supplements, and extra holding and rehabilitation enclosures. The park has also taken in kangaroos, wallabies, an eagle and a possum. A GoFundMe page organized by park owner Dana Mitchell has raised more than $800,000. Donate here.
World Wildlife Fund Australia: This chapter of the international wildlife conservation organization is accepting donations to care for injured wildlife and, when the fires clear, to plant 10,000 native trees in critical koala habitat, including in "koala triangle," the heartland of Australia's healthiest wild koala populations. Donate at donate.wwf.org.au.
Australian Koala Foundation: This foundation allows you to "adopt" a koala through a symbolic foster program; your monthly fee funds protection efforts for wild koalas. You can also pay to "plant a tree" to help restore koala habitat.
Macela Figueroa currently rents two bedrooms from a family of four, where she lives in one bedroom while her two sones share the second bedroom. One bathroom and kitchen is shared between Marcela and her sons as well as the family of four that she rents from, in which they have scheduled times to use the kitchen. Recently, her rent was increased and therefore she had to quickly find a new place to live. Marcela is a single mom and would like to provide security and privacy for her and her two sons. This new home will provide them with the safety, stability and security she has always hoped to give her family.
A simple solution to bridge the gap between the home you have and the home you want.
A simple solution to bridge the gap between the home you have and the home you want. Compass Bridge Loan Services gets you access to competitive rates and dedicated support from industry-leading lenders, with the exclusive option to get up to six months of your loan payments fronted when you sell your home with us.
What is a Bridge Loan?
A bridge loan is a short-term loan that uses the equity from your current home to help you make an offer on a new one without rushing to sell.
After months and months of extensive research, Compass has selected lenders that are offering competitive rates and dedicated services for Compass clients exclusively. Already working with a lender? No Problem. This unique solution lets you choose the provider that works best for you!
How to Determine if a Bridge Loan Make Sense For you?
Is your Money tied up in your current home?
If you need to move but your money is tied up in the equity of your current house, a bridge loan can help you secure funding to facilitate the transition to a new home — like for a down payment or mortgage payments. Once your current home sells, you’ll use the proceeds to pay the bridge loan back!
Do You Need to Move Within a Specific Timeframe?
If you’re relocating for a new job or other reason, a bridge loan can afford you the freedom to move on your own terms and secure a new house when you need to, without having to wait for your old home to sell.
Does Your Home Require Renovations or Other Work?
Whether you’re using Compass Concierge to increase your home’s value, or are making improvements on your own, it may be easier to have construction work done when you’re out of the house. A bridge loan can help you move faster so you’re out of the house while those improvements are being completed.
How it Works
Sign an Exclusive Listing Agreement with your Compass agent to sell your current home — while you work with them to find your next dream home.
Apply and get approved for a bridge loan with the lender of your choice.
Ask your Compass agent about getting the first six months of your bridge loan payments fronted.*
Move into your new home while your Compass agent works to sell your current home.
Use Compass Concierge home improvement services to sell your home faster and for more money.
When your old home sells, simply use the proceeds to pay back the bridge loan and any fronted monthly payments.
DID YOU KNOW? The average FICO credit score is 706. Which is considered to be a "good" score based on the scale of 350-850. Here are some great tips about CREDIT SCORES...........This is useful information for first-time home-buyers and anyone looking for ways to maintain financial health and avoid costly mistakes.
Seeking information about your own credit score is always a soft inquiry, and won’t cost you points on your score, unlike a bank - a HARD inquiry - checking your score for a mortgage application.
Preferably use less than 30% of your available credit each month and ideally less than 10%. Paying off your bills fully every month while fully using your credit is less effective. Raising your credit limit could help keep your percentage of utilization down.
Keeping a balance on your cards doesn’t help and could set back your financial goals, which are better served by consistently paying off credit-card debt in full.
Closing an older credit card won’t help your score and it might actually hurt you.
Every time you open a new credit card - or take out a loan or qualify for a mortgage - the overall average age of our credit takes a hit, and the hard inquiry subtracts more points from your credit score.
Getting that first credit card is important to building a thicker credit file, and retail cards are often among the easiest to qualify for.
Shopping around for a mortgage getting multiple credit scores can hurt your credit, but when credit scoring companies see different lenders pulling your credit score around the same time, they bundle multiple requests as a single query. So shop different rates at the exact same time, within 14 days or less.
Late payments, collections, foreclosures and chapter 13 bankruptcies hurt your credit score for 7 years. A chapter 7 bankruptcy will hurt it for 10 years. But, with the exception of the bankruptcies, the impact of the other problems diminishes as the information ages.
Banks typically won’t report any debit-card activity to credit-reporting companies, but choosing the credit option on your debit-card purchase means the funds could take up to 3 days to post, whereas the debit option means immediate withdrawal.
21% of consumers studied in 2012 found errors that resulted in modifications by the credit-reporting firms. Not all credit reports are accurate. So check your credit by regularly looking at your credit report. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the credit-reporting companies (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax). You can request them at AnnualCreditReport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228. (WSJ)
The Crown Jewel of Playa Del Rey! Positioned on the furthermost point of Playa’s coveted Bluffs, this stunning Architectural achievement was custom built to showcase the home’s unobstructed 270-degree views that encompass ocean, marina & vast Los Angeles cityscape from all three levels. The final design is a unique, contemporary haven that lays out over 8,000esf clad in slabs of white marble & sheets of glass, offering uncompromised privacy & seclusion.
Featuring dramatic, yet elegant interiors, soaring ceilings, Fleetwood accordion-style doors that seamlessly blur the line between the indoor/outdoor spaces & frame the breathtaking ocean & city views below. Custom-designed two-island chef’s kitchen has every detail imaginable w/ an effortless & functional flow. The master suite offers an enormous bedroom w/ lounging area lined w/ Fleetwood doors that open to a private deck w/equally expansive ocean & city-light views, complete with glass sauna, steam shower & heated floors for a spa-like experience. Other features include Private Movie Theatre, 38ft fully equipped bar & lounge area, gym, oversized infinity edge Jacuzzi, elevator, whole-house customizable scent system, Savant home automation system with touch-of-a-button control from anywhere with Internet and fully equipped security system w/keyless monitored access.
This home is a livable work of art that exudes contemporary elegance w/ a minimalist sensibility; all within minutes to LAX and all the beauty LA has to offer!
There is plenty of talk in the media about a pending economic slowdown.
The good news is, home values actually increased in 3 of the last 5 U.S. recessions, and decreased by less than 2% in the 4th.
Many experts predict a potential recession is on the horizon. However, housing will not be the trigger, and home values will still continue to appreciate. It will not be a repeat of the crash in the 2008 housing market.
When buying a home, taxes are one of the expenses that can make a significant difference in your monthly payment. Do you know how much you might pay for property taxes in your state or local area?
When applying for a mortgage, you’ll see one of two acronyms in your paperwork – P&I or PITI – depending on how you’re including your taxes in your mortgage payment.
P&I stands for Principal and Interest, and both are parts of your monthly mortgage payment that go toward paying off the loan you borrow. PITI stands for Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance, and they’re all important factors to calculate when you want to determine exactly what the cost of your new home will be.
“A municipal tax levied by counties, cities, or special tax districts on most types of real estate - including homes, businesses, and parcels of land. The amount of property tax owed depends on the appraised fair market value of the property, as determined by the property tax assessor.”
This organization also provides a map showing annual property taxes by state (including the District of Columbia), from lowest to highest, as a percentage of median home value.The top 5 states with the highest median property taxes are New Jersey, New Hampshire, Texas, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. The states with the lowest median property taxes are Louisiana, Hawaii, Alabama, and Delaware, followed by the District of Columbia.
Depending on where you live, property taxes can have a big impact on your monthly payment. To make sure your estimated taxes will fall within your desired budget, let’s get together today to determine how the neighborhood or area you choose can make a difference in your overall costs when buying a home.