Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Foreign investments in the U.S. real estate market.

Foreign investment in the US real estate market.

Year-in year-out Realtors in the Bay Area deal quite a bit with foreign buyers.  It is interesting to keep some perspective on this phenomenon at the national level.

From March 2013 to March 2014, foreign purchases in US real estate increased 26% from the year before, to a total of $92.2 billion (National Association of Realtors Profile of International Home Buying Activity).

4 states accounted for 55% of the total: Florida, California, Arizona and Texas.
Nearly 60% of reported international transactions were all cash, compared to just one-third of domestic home purchases.  - Still 1/3 is an impressive number!

54% of all international transactions last year came from Canada, China, Mexico, India and the U.K.
Clearly, the United States remain a destination of choice for investors for its stability, and future prospects.

Separately, but still relevant to this subject, it is good to note that the foreign-born population by state looks like this:
- California: 25.4%
- New York: 10.8%
- Texas: 10.4%
- Florida: 9.2%
- the rest (~44% ) is divided between the other states.

Do you have an input on the subject?  Please let me know.!

Thanks for reading.

Trends: Local prices and graphs.
A noteworthy local non-profit event:  Coalition on Homelessness, SF

Friday, December 19, 2014

Getting a new loan - things to do and not to do....

Are you getting a new loan?  Here are some tips of things to do and not do, in order to facilitate the procedure.  Some are essential, while others are more subtle.

-       Always pay on time:  your payment history is one of the biggest factors in your credit score.

-       Monitor your credit regularly:  make sure you stay on top of your credit history. Be sure to check all 3 credit bureaus annually to make sure there are no errors.

-       Know your credit limits:  being close to or maxing out your credit limits may negatively impact your credit score.

-       Set up alerts, do not be late.  Set up email and text alerts, as well as auto-pay, to help ensure that you pay your bills on time and build positive credit history.  The first missed payment has the largest impact on a credit score, so don’t miss payments. If you are late, don't be 30 days late, and if you have difficulty, call your lender - often time they can work with you.

-       Do not do charge anything unusual on your credit card - no cars, no motorcycles - do not increase your debt ratio as you are trying to get a new loan. 

Beware of moving debt. Be wary of moving around debt repeatedly - you need to pay debt down to improve your credit score. Also beware of moving large amounts of money during the loan process, unless you can document it thoroughly.

-       Know your debt-to-income ratio.  Lenders look at the amount of debt you have compared to your monthly income   - it’s good to keep that under 35%.
-  Good scores = Good rates:  better credit scores in most cases get you better credit interest rates.

-       Don’t open too many accounts: opening up a bunch of credit accounts you don't need may negatively impact your credit score.

-       Keep balances low:  keep balances low on credit cards and other revolving accounts  - this may help your credit score.

-       Think before closing accounts.  Closing credit card accounts may lower your available credit and could hurt your credit score in the short term.

-       Length of your history matters.  Lenders care about the length of your credit history because they want to see that you can manage credit accounts responsibly over time. 

-       Finally: know that others view your credit.  Landlords, public utilities, and potential employers may review your credit history, in addition to lenders.

I always tell me clients: when it is time to apply for a loan, follow closely the instructions of you loan agent, and in doubt: ask the question.  They know best what the underwriter is going to scrutinize, what works and what does not work.

Do you have an input on the subject?  Please let me know.!
Thanks for reading.

Trends: Local prices and graphs.
A noteworthy local non-profit event:  Coalition on Homelessness, SF