Thursday, November 18, 2010

Typical Escrow Closing costs for Buyers

First time buyers will often wonder how much their closing costs would amount to. Below is a typical breakdown of costs. In bank involved transactions, buyer also pays certain other costs that banks will not pay eg. First year Home Warranty coverage ($285-$355), third party disclosure source document ($123), etc. From a planning standpoint, we give a 0.7-1% rule of thumb depending on whether it is a short sale, foreclosure, or regular sale. The lender will also require an appraisal ($450) to ensure that the buyer is not overpaying and that the lien on the property is covered by the value of the property. Buyers also get a physical inspection done by a licensed inspector ($400) – just like getting a car checked out prior to purchase.

Offer Price: $525,000
Loan Amount: $417,000

Escrow Fee: $1037.50
Loan Tie-in: $250.00
(one) HOA fees: $150.00
Electronic Download: $200.00
Archival Fee: $24.50
Overnight Fee: $30.00
Title Insurance: $611.00
Endorsements: $200.00
Wire Fee: $25.00
Sub-escrow fee: $62.50
Notary Fee: $150.00
Recording Fee: $160.00
Total: $2900.50

Additional fees:
HOA plus tax proration
Lender’s closing costs calculated once escrow receives the loan docs
One month’s HOA dues for the buyer.

For Buying or Selling, You Need a Teacher that gives you straight answers. For more information on buying, selling, or renting out an income property in San Diego, please call Frank Rashid's cell phone at (858) 676-5250 or email him at More to follow within the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

First Time Home Buyer Q&A

First Time Home Buyer Q&A

1. The description in one of the listing says - "LIGHT TLC NEEDED TO MAKE THIS HOME SHINE". Do you know what this means?

Answer: TLC = Tender Loving Care – it is a nice way of saying home needs cosmetic repairs

2. "Ownership - Fee Simple", "Ownership - PUD", "Possession - Close of escrow", "Corporate-owned. * * * AGENTS: READ CFR * * *" - What does these different terms indicate?

Answer: Ownership – Fee Simple: You own the lot and land – city/county typically owns the roads/driveways leading up to it.
Ownership – PUD – Planned Unit Development – you own the property but there is a shared interest in the common areas e.g. driveways, etc.
Agents: Read CFR - CFR = Confidential Remarks is an MLS communication field used for broker-to-broker communication that is not to be shared with the general public on the internet for security purpose e.g. showing information, gate codes, lock box codes, contact phone numbers, etc.

3. When the listing says - "Pets - Yes". Does this mean that the house has/had pets OR is it OK to have pets in the community for new owner?

Pets – Yes – means rules and regulations of the community (aka CC&Rs) allows pets. Sometimes it will say Pets - Yes, with restrictions. This means that pets are allowed but may have size/weight restrictions to ensure that someone doesn't have a caged 150lb Siberian Tiger in their townhome and classify it as a pet.

4. One of the houses had this description- "...Its many upgrades include travertine, Berber carpet, custom paint, surround sound,..."? Do you know what travertine, or berber carpet is? What is vinyl flooring? And as far as pricing is concerned how is vinyl compared to hardwood, engineered wood, tile, or carpet flooring?

Tiles: Travertine is a stone tile – in order of cost for tile flooring – Ceramic Tile < Travertine < Granite < Marble. Carpet: Different types of carpet: Berber, Plush, etc. Vinyl flooring – cheapest of all floor covering – this is a piece of plastic-type covering mostly used in bathrooms and kitchens. I will show you. Vinyl < Carpet < Tile (see tiles above) < Laminate < Engineered wood < Hardwood. There are so many different types of floor coverings that this order of cost is no set in stone. Cost of stone depends on where it is quarried from, how rare it is, etc. etc.

For Buying or Selling, You Need a Teacher that gives you straight answers. For more information on buying, selling, or renting out an income property in San Diego, please call Frank Rashid's cell phone at (858) 676-5250 or email him at More to follow within the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What gives the best ROI when upgrading your home?

I know that one can find the answers to almost anything on the internet. But excess information can be overwhelming at times, especially when you don’t have a clearly defined idea of what you are looking for. I have attempted to narrow the information based on my experience and present to you the part that is of most value – the Return on Investment in Remodeling your home.

A lot of people will ask me: what type of work should we do that would increase the value of the property?

Obviously, you don’t want to spend money over-upgrading the home if the surrounding properties don’t have these features. It doesn’t make sense to develop an intricate front yard with marble water features and exquisite palm fronds if 80% of the neighborhood has a grassy lawn and a simpler layout. Your house should have good clean curb appeal on par with the community. If you are looking for a place to start, start with the granite in the kitchen, upgrade the appliances to be more energy efficient, make sure that the roof underlayment is up-to-date, the home has good coat of paint, and decent floor covering. Details such as crown molding, above average baseboards, add definition and character to the home. Get rid of all the junk, ensure that storage space is well organized. If the cars can’t pull into the garage, either you need to get rid of your accumulated “treasures” or it might be time to consider making a move into a large home.

The home should feel that there is good space to move around and stretch. This is not a function of how large the home is but how much stuff you have managed to gather in it. Even a 1br condo can feel spacious and a 4000sf home can feel cramped. It is just a function of how the lifestyle is organized.

Check the return on investment for the projects shown here and then you decide which remodeling project will best fit your lifestyle needs along with your financial goals. Email/Call me if you have more specific questions.

Paint70% to 300% Built-in washer dryer75%
New Flooring50% to 300%Fireplace65%
Kitchen Renovation 75%Energy Efficiency Features30%
Bathroom Addition75% to 100%Swimming Pool25% to 50%
Addition to Existing Home40% to 60%Garage75 to 100%
Basement Development55%New heating system45%
Patio or Deck50%Central Air Conditioning50%
New windows30%Underground sprinklers50%
New Exterior Siding65%Landscape Improvements50%