5 Things to Know About Real Estate in San Diego

You are ready to invest in real estate in the San Diego area. Before you do, there are a few things you should know about hard money loans San Diego and real estate trends in this area.

  1. The Market Is Hot

Right now, homes are flying off the market quickly in San Diego. For this reason, commit yourself to buying before you move forward with the purchasing process. If you see a home you like, you’re going to have to act fast.

  1. Neighborhoods Change Quickly

Prices and desirability in different neighborhoods almost change daily in the San Diego area. For this reason, it’s essential to do your homework about the area you want to invest in before moving forward with a purchase.

  1. Prices are on the Rise

As you probably have already noticed, San Diego is a desirable place to live. For this reason, home prices are on the side of high in many areas of this popular city. To get all the features you want in a home, plan on paying a little bit more. Or, be prepared to do some renovations to get the home you want after making a lower-priced purchase.

  1. Homes are Limited

Another reason why the prices of homes in San Diego are rising is due to limited availability. This is especially true for single-family homes in popular residential neighborhoods. Prepare yourself to compete with other buyers and deal with properties that have multiple offers.

  1. Secure Financing Is Critical

From probate loans to hard money loans, knowing you have access to a reliable form of financing is the key to success when purchasing real estate in the highly competitive San Diego market. If you have any questions about the financing options available to you, or how to move forward securing financing, please reach out to us at North Coast Financial today.

What Is a USDA Home Loan?

If you feel more comfortable being out in nature, buying a home is within your reach thanks to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) mortgage program. If you want to live in a rural or suburban area, you should apply for this zero down payment loan.  In the last year, this program has helped more than 127,000 families to upgrade or buy homes.

If you do not mind living in areas that are rural, you should consider this no down payment and low interest USDA home loan. With different types of mortgages to choose from, you need to know whether this loan is right for you.

How USDA Mortgage Programs Work

You will come across three USDA loan programs:

Direct loans – these loans are for people who earn very low incomes. With subsidies, applicants can get interest rates that are as low as 1%. The income threshold for qualifying varies depending on the region.

Loan guarantees – just like VA-backed and FHA loans, the USDA usually guarantees loans issued by participating lenders in your area. This means that you can get low-interest rate loans without a down payment. However, if you put up no or little down payment, you will have to pay mortgage insurance.

Home improvement grants and loans – these financial awards and loans allow people to repair their homes or upgrade them.

How to Qualify for USDA-backed Loan Guarantees

The income limits for qualifying for this type of loan depend on the size of a house and its location. However, these loans can only finance owner-occupied houses that are primary residences.

The requirements for eligibility are:

Monthly payment – when you include taxes, insurance, and principal interest, this should be 29 percent or less of your income. Any other debt payments that you make per month should not exceed 41% of your income. However, if you have a credit score more than 680, the USDA will consider higher debt ratios.

US citizenship – you have to be a US citizen or have permanent residency.

Dependable income – you need to show proof of a steady income for at least 24 months.

Acceptable credit history – your credit history should be good without any accounts that are converted to collections in the past year.  You can still qualify if you prove that your credit history was affected by events beyond your control.

If you have a credit score above 640, you should be able to get streamlined processing.

However, if it is lower than that, you need to meet stricter underwriting standards.

How USDA Home Loans Work

USDA gives loans to the neediest applicants, which means:

–          People who do not have sanitary and safe housing

–          People with an adjusted income or with a low income limit

–          People who cannot secure mortgages from traditional sources

The USDA mostly issues loans for houses that are less than 2,000 square feet.

Eligible Home Locations

If you want to live in a metropolitan area, you will not qualify for a USDA mortgage. Rural areas are the most eligible but suburban areas can qualify. If you want to apply for this loan, you should contact a participating lender. However, if you want a home improvement or direct loan, you should get in touch with the USDA office in your state.

Although USDA programs seem like they target ranchers and farmers, your occupation does not matter when applying. All you need is the right location and income to qualify.

A USDA home loan might seem like a long shot but you will not know whether you qualify until you contact the nearest participating lender or USDA office.

5 Trends in Real Estate That You Should Know About

As everything that is happening in the world, there is nothing that is constant but change. The real estate scene is no different. It has evolved over the past few years due to emerging technologies introduced, which has a significant effect on how buying and selling in the real estate world are done these days. Indeed, there are always new things for consumers to look out for as the real estate scenario is also keeping up with the times. A company that buys houses has more advantage at present as there is more information posted online nowadays that you can access. The same thing goes for the sellers who have the added benefit of posting their properties online for more consumers to see. Listed below are five trends to look out for in the changing real estate world.

  1.  The rise of millennial buyers

At present, the large bulk of homebuyers would be the millennials. Nowadays, millennials are already thinking of owning properties as they are somehow capable of paying larger mortgages. But with the prices of homes steadily rising, millennials prefer to look into properties in the suburban areas which can give them affordable options as well as a better quality of life which millennials are known to look for.

  1.  The return of foreclosed buyers

The aftereffect of the crashing of the housing market in 2007 to 2009 would be felt at present as the homeowners who were forced into foreclosure can finally buy their own property after seven years. Home sellers should study the preferences of these foreclosed buyers who are also known as boomerang buyers. They are expected to be more cautious in choosing the next property they want to own based on their previous experiences. Another tip for investors for this boomerang buyers niche is to target the renters because this group has only recently been qualified to purchase properties.

  1.  Property buying through crowdfunding

Another trend observed nowadays in real estate scene is buying of property through crowdfunding or multiple ownership. Home prices are continuously increasing; therefore, sellers are creatively thinking of ways to fund properties with the help of many investors for a single property. Fund sourcing for new homes or home renovations will be easier using this method

and will also benefit the investors who want to have passive income in this manner. Although selling a property with multiple owners will be more complicated thus, everything has to be legally-settled for this strategy to work out for everyone involved.

  1.  Preference of smart home products

Modern technology has an enormous impact on all kinds of businesses and marketing real estate is no different. Home buyers nowadays are looking into houses with built-in security systems using smart home gadgets. Millennials, specifically, are the ones with the highest interest in installing smart home products in their homes. It is wise to say that home sellers should look into this niche in the market who show a preference for smart home technology and make their properties for sale to suit these young, modern consumers.

  1.  Agent-free markets

With the emergence of new technology and online visibility, the possibility of agent-free markets is big. Tech-oriented real estate firms are now helping real estate buyers and sellers with their transactions bypassing agents, thus saving up on the high cost of real estate agent fees which are usually at 5 to 6% of the home sales price.

Trends in real estate marketing are ever-changing, and it is best to always be updated with the current and past events that may affect the market. Expect modern technology to be a great part of changing how real estate marketing works and the innovations in the homes that can add to increase in home sales.

5 Tips for Finding Real Estate Probate Leads

For the majority of budding real estate investors, finding, pitching, and clinching probate leads ranks up there with a colonoscopy, as one way of spending an afternoon. You’d be forgiven for thinking probate investors are ambulance chasing attorneys – except that they chase hearses.

You don’t want to upset a sobbing widow while seeking to make a few bucks, so perhaps probate investing isn’t worth it. Well, that’s until you discover about astonishing deals made by investors who pursue probate deals.

Similar to most big real estate lead generation plans, the most difficult step is getting started. For this reason, we’ve compiled this guide to educate you on all things you must know about closing probate real estate deals like keeping tabs on the obituaries and how to get probate leads from a courthouse.

1. Monitor the obituaries

The above statement might seem to contradict the last sentence on ambulance chasing to acquire clients. But keeping tabs on the obituaries helps in gathering information on recently deceased persons and their heirs.

Public records avail real estate and contact information of respective heirs.

Keep in mind that the real estate field is highly competitive particularly in the area of probate sales owing to investor perception that properties come on the cheap. The more information you gather before your competitors, the more of an edge you’ve over them. Once the grieving and sense of loss subside, you can then propose a viable deal.

2. Call on the probate courts

Probate court cases are public records. Approach the court clerk with the aim of creating a system that allows you to scrutinize court documents combing for cases with the residence as an asset.

Look for not only property information but court documents to assess the estate’s financial status and possible heirs. Supposing you uncover the home is tied in debt that requires prompt attention, you can persuade the survivors into a sale sooner.

Also, in the absence of heirs, the estate’s executor may want to close a deal sooner rather than later – more so if the home is free of significant debts.

3. Newspaper probate classifieds

Some newspaper editions provide details of probate auctions and sales. Visit the local library and peruse some newspapers. Also, check for online listings.

Just like for other techniques of obtaining leads, carry out due diligence on all properties you intend to make an offer or before showing up at an auction.

4. Buy online leads

Lead aggregators peddle probate properties leads. These aggregators make use of a blend of information requests, and public information like probate court filings and newspaper listings.

You must understand that aggregators that utilize public information do similar work to what you can accomplish on your own but charge a pretty penny for the service.

You must determine whether such a business expense is worth the returns by saving you precious time and energy.

5. Power collaborations with estate planning lawyers

Probate and estate planning attorney should rank highly in your contact list. Usually, they have information on listed properties and also make decisions on selling.

Such partnerships place you the investor in a situation where leads trickle down to you. The probate attorney may call you to assess the investment opportunity of an estate as he also looks into its financial status.

Forging such relationships calls for more than making a few calls and presenting yourself. Display your professionalism. Grasp the workings of the current market by adequately assessing a home’s condition and value and setting realistic expectations about the potential deal.  


What is a Reverse Mortgage and How Does It Work?

A reverse mortgage has only been a form of home equity lending since 1989 when it was first offered. The idea is that it provides a federally-insured way to release some of the value stored in your home equity without needing to move out or sell up right away.

A stream of income, line of credit or a lump sum is paid to the borrower using the home equity conversion mortgage (the other name for a reverse mortgage). It is repaid after selling the property or through probate following the death of the homeowner(s).

Who Is Best Suited to a Reserve Mortgage?

You must be a homeowner and 62 years or older (the youngest person with a couple is counted). As the loan repayment is triggered following a sale of the property, it’s best that you plan to stay in the home indefinitely. Usually, but not always, this type of loan is taken out by pensioners and people looking to shortly retire who would like to release some of the equity in their home without needing to move out and downsize.

It’s possible to sometimes use a reverse mortgage to clear a minor outstanding balance on an existing mortgage to smooth the way to retirement years. However, bear in mind that an application through leading provider American Advisors Group requires passing a credit check.

Could I Receive an Income or a Lump Sum?

When you have a fixed interest rate mortgage, then you can only get a lump sum payment with a reverse mortgage. However, with an adjustable interest rate mortgage, there’s the choice of a line of credit, a lump sum, a fixed monthly income, or a mixture of these.

How Much Can I Borrow?

There is a HECM limit for these types of mortgages currently set at $636,150. However, should the appraised valuation be lower, then this is used instead. The homeowner can review what percentage of their home they wish to use for a reverse mortgage – essentially, how much they’ll give away and won’t be eligible for future inheritance for their relatives. Therefore, the amount depends on the valuation used and what percentage ownership is borrowed against.

Also, different lenders charge an interest rate that could vary depending on the applicant(s) credit score or mortgage type too. If you’re having a hard time figuring out the rates and the available values you can get for your reverse mortgage, you can opt to make use of a reverse mortgage calculator in order to get a clearer idea on potential valuations.

Final Thoughts

A home equity loan is a useful financial lending option for homeowners who are old enough to qualify and who do not mind borrowing against the value of their home. It can certainly bridge the gap between the income needed to fund retirement needs and not having enough. Interest rate costs do reduce what is received from the equity in the home upon sale, but this is a reasonable trade-off to avoid the expense of selling up and relocating or downsizing to get some extra cash to live on in your silver years.

In most cases, it’s recommended by financial advisors to tap other sources of income before taking out new lending agreements. This is sensible advice as you’d expect from these types of advisors. However, few financial advisors have ever lived off their own investments in retirement, so their word is certainly not gospel! For homeowners who wish to retire slightly earlier or in greater comfort, then a reverse mortgage is a good extra option to have available that didn’t even exist that long ago.

5 Tips to Protecting Your Assets Against Fire

Protecting your assets, property, employees, or residents is the top priority for any business owner. That’s because fire can have a devastating effect on any enterprise in many different ways. Apart from causing damage to property, a fire can lead to injury or even death. It can also cause an extended downtime for your business, leading to loss of revenue.

Chances of this happening to you may be slim, but it always pays to be ready for anything. That’s why it’s vital that you take all the necessary steps to protect your assets against fire. A good starting point would be to bring in fire safety professionals to implement fire prevention measures that are suitable for your business. Apart from that, here are 5 other tips that can help you protect your assets from fire damage:

  1. Focus on Fire Prevention

The best way to reduce the risk of fire in your business is to be proactive about preventing fires from breaking out in the first place. To do this, start by encouraging your employees to clean up the office space and reduce any clutter. Doing this will remove any extra material that could provide fuel for a fire.

Another great way to prevent a fire is by prohibiting the use of candles or space heaters in the space. This is important because the top cause of many office fires are space heaters that have been left on overnight.

You should also work with expert safety vendors like Parr Fire Protection Services to ensure that all your assets are safe and protected. These certified professionals will be able to perform a fire hazard analysis, showing you any fire risks that you may be vulnerable to. They can also suggest viable solutions and help you implement them.

  1. Install a Fire Alarm

In case a fire does happen, it’s important to have a properly installed and operational fire alarm system at your business. This will ensure that your employees and the proper authorities are notified at the right time. After all, prompt notification can greatly reduce property damage and injuries in any fire.

You should also ensure that all employees are properly trained on how the fire alarm system works. Everyone in the office should know how to activate the fire alarm manually when necessary, and how to exit the premises to reduce the risk of injury.

  1. Get the Right Equipment

It is vital that any business invests in the proper fire safety equipment. This includes things such as fire extinguishers, sprinklers, and fire suppressants. All of these should be properly installed and monitored to ensure that they are always in good working condition. As long as they work correctly, such systems can help save lives and minimize damage in case of a fire.

Since this is so important, it’s essential that you hire experienced professionals to ensure that the job is done right. Apart from installing these systems, the pros will also ensure that all equipment is in proper operating condition and compliant with all the relevant fire codes in your area.

  1. Routine Inspections

While having the right equipment is essential, it’s also vital that they are inspected and monitored regularly. This will ensure that, should a fire break out, all of your fire-fighting tools will work as required.

  1. Formulate an Emergency Plan

Whether or not a fire emergency strikes, ensure that your company has a detailed emergency plan in place. Furthermore, ensure that all of your employees know how to execute the plan effectively. You could implement regular fire drills to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

5 Tips To Becoming A Real Estate Agent

Research shows that only 20% of real estate agents handle 80% of all closings and over 80% of agents end up failing and quitting within their first 5 years in business. So how do you stand strong in this industry? Here are 5 tips to becoming a real estate agent and succeed at it:

1. Understand The Real Estate Market

A good real estate agent is identified by his expert knowledge of the market, responsiveness to clients, and his level of service. Technology keeps advancing by the day and it’s not enough for an agent to be an information broker showing homes. Customers can now find a lot of information by themselves online.

What is expected of you as an agent is to be able to put all the information together, educate the client on the market trends and statistics, and translate the data that they have found online into helpful insights that they can use to make confident viable decisions.

2.  Invest In Technology

Technology has become a core factor in the real estate industry. Real estate agents who don’t upgrade to the changing technological trends taking place will end up losing their market share in the long run.

As an agent, you need to learn to use the current emerging tools and technology to increase your impact on the market. Investing in a good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system will enable you to stay connected with past clients, keep in touch with your current contacts and establish leads to gaining future clients.

3. Use Your Personality Strengths

It is a common misconception that introverts are not social and therefore cannot make great sales agents and for you to be a real estate agent, you have to be an extrovert. Most people will even try to deter you from entering into the real estate industry for the simple reason that you’re an introvert.

While personality traits are highly necessary for a referral-based industry such as real estate, being an introvert or an extrovert doesn’t draw the line as to whether you qualify to be an agent or not. You only need to have certain skills such as listening and speaking skills and know how to use them well. Your personality strengths should include a likable nature, honesty, trust, and consistency.

4. Develop A Work Plan

As a real estate agent, you need a plan for your business. Before investing your money in technology and everything else that you need, ensure that you’ve set strategic goals and that you have an action plan in place to work out those goals.

Determine the number of deals you want to close within a month, set a lead generation strategy, and have a follow-up process. Develop a schedule and a process which you follow to the letter. Set time limits that you have to work within and then work out the plan. This is the only way to succeed as a real estate agent.

5. Be Persistent And Patient

In this real estate industry, you will face a lot of rejection and failure and promises from clients that never come to be or take forever to actually materialize. It may take weeks, maybe months to see worthwhile returns on your investments.


Wondering whether you can earn a living as a real estate agent? Find out how do realtors get paid.