You’ve most likely heard the rule: Save for a 20-percent down payment before you buy a home. The logic behind saving 20 percent is solid, as it shows that you have the financial discipline and stability to save for a long-term goal. It also helps you get favorable rates from lenders.


The downsides of a small down payment are pretty well known. You’ll have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance for years, and the lower your down payment, the more you’ll pay. You’ll also be offered a lesser loan amount than borrowers who have a 20-percent down payment, which will eliminate some homes from your search.


The national average for home appreciation is about five percent. The appreciation is independent from your home payment, so whether you put down 20 percent or three percent, the increase in equity is the same. If you’re looking at your home as an investment, putting down a smaller amount can lead to a higher return on investment, while also leaving more of your savings free for home repairs, upgrades, or other investment opportunities.


Of course, your home payment options aren’t binary. Most borrowers can find some common ground between the security of a traditional 20 percent and an investment-focused, small down payment.

I can provide some answers as you explore your financing options.
Thomas Ray, REALTOR

Buyer Mistakes

Bidding Wars got you in a state of AGITATION? I CAN HELP!

Six (6)Steps to avoid losing the home of your dreams.

1.) Be an All Cash Buyer. This allows you to waive all contingencies.

2.) Make an offer the day the home goes on the market.

3.) Bring your Home Inspector with you on the first viewing (call me to explain this one).

There are 3 more great tips I have used to win homes for my clients!!

Call me NOW at 310-420-1149 so we can work together to get your dream home.

Shopping for a new home is an emotional experience. It’s also time consuming and comes with myriad details. Some buyers, however, caught up in the excitement of buying a new home tend to overlook some items. Their home purchase turns into an expensive process. These errors generally fall into three areas:

• Paying too much
• Losing a dream home to another buyer
• Buying the wrong home

When you have a systematic plan before you shop, you’ll be sure to avoid these costly errors. Here are some tips on making the most of your home purchase:

Bidding without sufficient information
What price do you offer a seller? Is the seller’s asking price too high? Is it a deal? Without research on the market and comparable homes, you could lose thousands of dollars. Before you make that offer, be sure you have researched the market. A professional realtor, can offer an unbiased opinion on the value of a home, based on market conditions, condition of the home and neighborhood. Without knowledge of the market, your offer could be too much. Or worse, you could miss out on a great buying opportunity.

Buying a mis-matched home
What do you need and want in a home? Sounds simple. Yet, clearly identifying your needs and bringing an objective view to home shopping, leaves you in a better position. Sometimes, home buyers buy a home that is too large or too small. Perhaps they didn’t consider the drive to work, the distance to school, or the many repair jobs waiting for completion. Plan ahead. Use your needs list as a guideline for every home you view.

Unclear title
Before you sign any document, be sure the property you are considering is free of all encumbrances. As part of their services, a realtor can supply you with a copy of the title to ensure there are no liens, debts, undisclosed owners, leases or easements.

Outdated survey
Before the purchase is completed, an updated survey is essential. This report will indicate boundaries and structural changes (additions to the house, a new swimming pool, neighbor’s new fence which is extending a boundary line, etc.).

Unexpected repairs
For $300 – $500 a professional inspector will conduct a thorough inspection of the home. This way, you’ll have an idea of the cost of future repairs. Make the final contract subject to a favorable report.

Shopping without pre-approval
It only takes a few days to get financing pre-approval. When you are shopping for a home, this gives you more power. A seller is more likely to consider an offer from a serious buyer.

Remember additional costs
Besides the funds for the purchase of a home, you’ll need funds for items such as loan fees, insurance, legal fees, surveys, inspections, etc.

Rushing the closing
Before you sign, ensure that all documentation clearly reflects your understanding and conditions of the transaction. Has anything been forgotten? Don’t rush. You could lose money, financing or even the sale.

Contact Tom for all your real estate needs!

My International Clients are very excited about purchasing homes in Southern California right now!

Loan Requirements:(Intl. only)

30% downpayment.
Maximum loan is $1.5m.
No Social Security # is required.
Must open a U.S. bank account with the 30%.
Must have a Valid passport.
Stated income used.
F.I.C.O. score should be in the high 700’s.

For my International “Qualified Buyers”, I will arrange a pick up at LAX (Town Car and Driver) and then assist you in finding the perfect accommodations while we arrange your home tours. Plan to spend several days on home tours and writing offers. If you need to fly back home right away, we can handle the negotiations via fax and email.

See my Investment page for other ways to own property in Los Angeles,CA.

Contact Thomas Ray for all your real estate needs!

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