No Bull Agent
Information in this post is provided by Ron McGowan, Senior Mortgage Consultant with PrimeLending. He is a guest blogger who provides us information from a lender’s perspective. For additional information on Ron, please visit his website at ILoanSanDiego.com.
Inside Lending Newsletter from Ron McGowan for the week of July 19, 2010
INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE…Some analysts feel the homebuyer tax credits artificially boosted the housing market by pushing forward home sales that would have happened later. Others feel most buyers would have bought anyway. In any case, there’s now concern about a coming drop in sales. Well, June sales figures should still benefit from activity spurred on by the tax credits. And tax credit sales should even help monthly reports through September, now that buyers in contract on April 30 have been given until September 30 to close.
Nonetheless, we ought to keep an eye on monthly Pending Home Sales, which track signed contracts that turn into sales a few months out. Even though we may have a sales dip after the tax credit, the fact remains that near historic low mortgage interest rates are getting people back into the market. These rates, combined with today’s prices, have made homes more affordable than they’ve been in years, letting many buyers move up to better neighborhoods with more choices.
But buyers shouldn’t wait. The National Association of Realtors chief economist sees the median home price rising nationally 2% to 3% this year. Read the rest of this entry »
Depending on where your home search takes you within San Diego County and the state of California, Mello-Roos may or may not be a consideration. So, what is it and why should you care? The short answer is that it is a special tax on homeowners who live in a community that used bonds to pay for the infrastructure within that community. The Mello-Roos is basically the repayment for those bonds. When we take our clients around to view homes, Mello-Roos is often viewed as a four-letter word. Are there advantages to living in a community with this tax? This post will discuss both sides.
Mello-Roos, also known as the Community Facilities District Act (CFD), comes from the names of its co-authors. Senator Henry Mello and Assemblyman Mike Roos were instrumental in getting this act passed through the California State Legislature in 1982. It was developed in response to the passing of Proposition 13 in 1978 which made it more difficult for local governments to use property tax revenue for public facilities and services. In searching for other options to pay for these services, Mello-Roos was created. Who decides whether a community will have Mello-Roos?
The community in which this tax is considered decides. The vote must pass in favor of becoming a Mello-Roos community. Once the vote passes, bonds are issued to support services such as schools, roads, parks, utility connections, sewer, police, fire and life safety. Mello-Roos is typically paid annually or semi-annually. The amount and term length of this tax varies from community to community. When you break it down on a monthly basis, we’ve seen it as low as $80 per month and in upwards of $400 per month. The term length of Mello-Roos is, on average, between fifteen to twenty years from the year the community was built. Read the rest of this entry »
Gaslamp City Square is located in the center of San Diego’s Gaslamp District taking up an entire city block between Fourth and Fifth Avenue and Island and J Street. It is one of our favorite buildings within the Gaslamp District due to its location, good construction and comparatively low association fees for the amenities included. Expect to pay between $280 and $380 in association fees at this building. Association fees typically vary within a building due to unit square footage. Gaslamp City Square shares two addresses, 445 Island and 450 J Street, and has separate entrances at each. Secure underground parking is available at the garage entrance along Fourth Avenue. It is important to note this garage is shared with general public parking. Units can come with zero to two garage parking spaces. Strictly on a resale basis, we recommend trying to get a unit that comes with two spaces. Typically, only the two bedroom units may come with two spaces.
Gaslamp City Square resides above commercial units and shares the block with restaurants such as the Red Pearl Kitchen and The Oceanaire Seafood Room along J Street. Additionally, this block has retail stores such as Puma, Quicksilver and Skechers along Fifth Avenue. This seven story building was built by K. Hovnanian Homes with phases completed between 2004 and 2006. It has 223 units with floor plans that include studios, one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms. In our opinion, Gaslamp City Square offers the best of both worlds with its unit layout. Whether you want to be in the middle of the Gaslamp activity with a street facing unit or just close to the activity with a unit facing the interior courtyard and pool, both options are available. Read the rest of this entry »