Friday, January 22, 2010

Closing Escrow - The Home is Yours!

The final step of the CA buying process is called closing. Closing is actually short for "closing escrow"and is the time that the escrow company will make sure all the paperwork has been signed, all the money has been collected, and we are ready to transfer ownership of the property.

Assuming your loan has been funded, all parties will be notified we move to recording of the deed and mortage paperwork. If this happens early in the day, some counties will let you record same day. Usually though, the deed and mortgage documents will be recorded next business day.

Escrow is officially closed when escrow recieves confirmation that the deed has recorded and the seller has recieved all proceeds from sale. At this point, the house is yours!

Depending on how your purchase agreement is structured, it is possible to move in on the day escrow is closed, however, it is more common to move in 2-3 days after. The reason is to give the seller time to completely remove everything from the residence. This can be frustrating to some buyers who are anxious to move into their new home. They just need to understand that the many sellers have moved out of a house prior to closing only to have the buyer cancel the contract. This can cause way more problems than having the buyer wait an extra day or three to move in.

Either way, if one is extremely worried about a seller who might not move out, they can always ask for the sale proceeds to be witheld in escrow until the seller has vacated the residence.

Once you get the go ahead that the property is ready for you, it is time to move into your new home, Congratulations!

Buyer's Final Walk Through

One of the last steps in buying a home in CA is what is known as the final walk through. This happens several days before you receive the keys to the property and it is intended to give you a chance to make sure the home is in the same condition as when you last saw it.

This is not a “discovery process” where we will investigate the house for problems, but instead will a time to confirm that the property is in the same condition as before
. Major things we look for during a final walkthrough are missing light fixtures, damaged walls or doors, and missing appliances that were supposed to come with the house etc.

If damages are found during the final walk through, your real estate agent will take note, and contact escrow and tell them to stop until the problem has been remedied. The final walk through is not a point of renegotiation, it is really too late in the process for that. We just want to make sure you are not rushed into the purchase of a home where the seller has not performed their contractual obligations.

The final walk through is not mandatory, but for your safety, we recommend it. At the completion, you will be asked to sign a form stating that the entire property is in relatively the same condition as it was before.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Insurance For Your New CA Home

In addition to the other details in escrow, you will also need to check into homeowners insurance (also known as fire insurance). Many lenders will require an insurance policy to be in place prior to funding your loan so the first thing you need to do is ask your lender if you need it. Homeowners insurance is not always necessary, but your lender might require it, so it is important to be asking these questions early. We'd say no later than the first week or two of escrow. If your lender does not require it, we recommend getting a policy anyway after escrow is closed.

It is a good idea to
talk to your current insurance providers (car, life, etc.) to discuss insurance policies for your home. If your current provider does not carry homeowners insurance there are many insurance providers that have a policy right for you. Good places to start are State Farm, Allstate, Farmers, etc. Some providers need to send a representative out to the property to determine whether it will qualify. If sending a rep is required, have them contact your real estate agent to schedule an appointment to see the property.

Now that you have got insurance covered, you are redy to move on.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fullerton Homes For Sale - Luxury Home Update January 2010

Like most areas of the country, 2009 was a rough year for the upscale real estate market. However, 2010 seems to have a little more momentum and some solid home sales.

Whats going on in Fullerton CA?

Over the past 3 months, the city of Fullerton CA has seen the following statistics for home sales over the million dollar price point.

24 active listings.
5 homes under contract in escrow
8 homes sold

Of those 8 home sales, 3 have sold in the last 30 days
90 day average to sell

What is selling in Fullerton?

Things are definitely starting to sell in the last 3 months but the absolute highest sale is just under $1.5 million. Homes over this price point have taken an extra long time to sell in the current market. The lower part of the million dollar range has been the most active with the average upscale sale around $1.2 million. Not suprisingly, only one of the homes sold had 4 bedrooms, the majority of homes sold have had either 5 or 6 bedrooms and averaged approximately 4,000 sqft.

What this all means?

Buyers - If your looking to purchase a large home in Fullerton, there are plenty of good options available even if you desire 5 bedrooms and 4,000 square feet. We have seen some of these homes sell in under 5 days so buyers need to be prepared that premium homes on premium lots that are priced competitively will require quick attention.

Sellers - Homeowners looking to sell their luxury homes in Fullerton need to understand that it may take 90 days or longer to sell if they want a premium price. They should also understand that houses with only 4 bedrooms and under the 3500 square foot will have a difficult time competing in the million dollar range. Of course there will be some exceptions to this with highly desired lots, neighborhoods, or views, but overall this is the current market trend. If you'd like to check out more details about the lisitings available, please see our Fullerton CA Homes For Sale page.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

La Habra Home For Sale - Condo update January 2010

La Habra, CA has seen a run on entry-level condo sales lately as many buyers are looking to take advantage of the still low interest rates and the tail end of the federal housing stimulus package. We are seeing a big demand for condos with at least 2 bedrooms under the $200,000 mark. Here is a quick snapshot of the current market.

What's on the market?

There is a total of only 10 La Habra Condos under $200,000 with at least 2 Bedrooms currently for sale on the market. These 10 condos are in communities such as Mar Vista, Woodlake Village, Woodlake Villa, Stone Harbor, La Venezia, and Fashion Knolls.

Of these La Habra homes for sale there are 9 short sales and 1 REO. There are 0 standard sales in this price range. The average days on the market is 75 in this range of active listings.

What has been selling?

Currently there are 25 condos in escrow that match the above description. This sounds like an awful lot but remember the majority of these are short sales and it is anybody's guess when they will actually close.

What we can say is that there are 5 closed sales in the last 30 days that have closed that match this description and the average days on the market is right around 45 days.

What does it all mean?

Basically, La Habra CA home sales are keeping pace in the entry level range with the rest of the county. Buyers are seeing heavy bidding on these properties and sellers are seeing lots of interest and quick offers. The catch is that this only applies to homes priced very competitively, and often at price points homeowners are uncomfortable with. This is the reason why we see the majority of the inventory as distress sales in the form of short or REO listings. Sellers who have bought at the peak of the market may have a difficult time selling if they are unwilling to do a short sale and if they have little equity.

If you live in La Habra CA and are curious as to whether you will be able to sell your home in the current market, please contact us or visit our La Habra homes for sale page.