Selling a house is a time consuming process. There are many factors to be considered and each requires a good amount of time. Transactions don’t just happen overnight so, before you jump in, take a minute to prepare yourself accordingly. Having an idea of the average amount of time it takes to close a sale will better prepare you for what’s to come.

Listing your home: 3-5 days
Your listing agent will need to gather all necessary information regarding the property, create an MLS listing for it, and generate syndicated marketing materials to reach as many potential buyers as possible.
Getting an offer: 65 days
While this isn’t always the case, the current average of properties on the market is 65 days. Depending on location, this can vary drastically. Homes in Orange County, Los Angeles, or San Francisco may sell much quicker than other areas.
Closing escrow: 50 days
It takes an average of 50 days from the time the buyer submits an offer to the time they can close on a home. This is standard considering all that goes into closing escrow. Mortgage companies need to do their due diligence in getting a buyer approved and, if there are any contingencies, those too can take a while.
Getting paid: 0 days
After the all the time and effort put into selling your home, the good news is you get paid the minute you sign to close escrow. The escrow company will generally wire transfer you the cash that day.
Moving out: 0 days
On closing day, you’re expected to be completely moved out. This is why escrow is so important and generally takes up to 2 months. During this time you’ll be packing up, moving out, and making necessary repairs. Once escrow closes and title is transferred, you no longer have possession of the house. In some cases, special exceptions like a rent-back agreement may be arranged to allow the seller more time to find a new home and move out.
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Tis the season for Christmas lights, cozy fires, and, in Southern California, the one time of year that we may need to use our heaters. If all the holiday spending wasn’t enough, our energy bill is yet another addition to the lengthy list of expenses.

When the holidays come around we tend to be a bit wasteful in our energy use. In fact, the power companies of Southern California have issued energy conservation alerts urging people to use less. So how can you do your part and save some money while you’re at it? Here are some tips…
1. Most of us put our holiday lights on a timer, but what about your electronics? Unplug your devices when you’re not using them or set them on timers. Leaving items like your blowdryer, toaster, or Keurig plugged in takes up energy. So unplug.
2. Switch to LEDs and turn off unneeded lights. If you don’t already use LEDs, it’s time to make the switch. LED lights now come in all shades and colors so you don’t have to worry about having white light illuminating your house. You should also get in the habit of turning off the lights when you leave a room. Many of us tend to leave lights on throughout the house unnecessarily. Next time, switch it off.
3. Check to make sure vents are open and clean in order to circulate air well. A dirty vent blocks air from being pushed out taking more time and, therefore, more energy to heat your home.
4. Double check your thermostat. Make sure it is set to a schedule that’s running as needed.
Following these tips not only helps with energy conservation – something we all should be cognizant of – but it can also help reduce the cost of your heating bill saving you some extra cash.
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There are a multitude of reasons why renters have kept from buying: raises in interest rates, acceleration in home prices, rigid lending standards, and student loan debt…to name a few. However, a recent study shows renters are now in a position to take on more financial obligations and, with rent prices rising, 2017 might be the time to buy.

According to a report done by TransUnion, “many renters are exhibiting more credit active behaviors, such as opening a credit card, and approximately 40 percent have a prime or better credit score” (RIS Media). In addition to their creditworthiness, renters also have more aggregate excess payment (AEP). In other words, they can afford more payments with money left over. This not only means that they can take on more finances, but they can handle larger financial obligations like a down payment and mortgage.
Freddie Mac conducted another study that showed that renters are not as concerned with their rent payments as they are with other costs. Therefore, considering how expensive rent has become (often the equivalent of a mortgage payment), 2017 could be a very appealing year for renters to buy.
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We now know that interest rates are rising, but what about home prices? With 2017 quickly approaching, we’re left wondering if the acceleration we’ve been seeing in home prices and sales will continue into the new year?

A strong market means that competition and tough bidding (sometimes above the asking price) won’t be changing soon. However, the latest survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors of 2,800 U.S. households from October to December, tells us that there won’t be as much of an increase. The rapid growth we’ve seen in the market throughout 2016 with sales prices rising 5% will likely be taking a minor dip to a 4% increase in 2017.
Nonetheless, with interest rates up another .25% many potential homebuyers, especially first-timers, may be rethinking their plans to buy. With current mortgage rates making it more difficult to qualify for a loan and fewer homeowners refinancing, lenders are beginning to make more loans to individuals with lower credit and higher debt-to-income ratios.
Still, a vast majority of the U.S. believes it is a good time to buy a home. As we mentioned in our last blog, rates are still relatively favorable despite recent increases and the market is still in full swing. Change is inevitable and we’re going to be seeing it in 2017, but this optimism proves that any deceleration will be gradual.
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The Fed just raised interest rates by .25%….so what implications does this have for home buyers? Aside from raising the rates that lenders will be offering, another effect on buyers is a 1% raise in your DTI (debt-to-income) ratio. While this may seem startling and may have some home buyers second guessing, don’t be alarmed.

First off, all things considered, current rates are still very favorable. There is always going to be sticker shock when you learn that a .5% raise equates to $80 or $100 more a month, but rates overall are still relatively low. Since the Fed cited inflation concerns, we could see a continual rise in interest rates, so now is a good time to buy. Secondly, while a raise does in in turn push your DTI ratio higher, it is not as high as you may think. That 1% can easily be offset by paying off credit cards.
Nonetheless, for those home buyers currently shopping the market, set a deadline now for when you’ll be closing escrow, sit down with your lender and determine all of your options before 2017, and lock in your interest rate as soon as possible.
As we’ve mentioned, November to December is the best time to buy for a number of reasons and, now, securing an acceptable rate is another motivating factor. If you’re seriously considering buying, the sooner you can make the move the better.
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