PDF for transcription of this episode (2021-109) of the Santa Clarita real estate radio show and podcast!


Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (00:00): New Speaker (00:00):

Good to everybody. Connor Mac Iver. Welcome to Monday, April 19th, 2021. Today, we're going to talk about the 15 best questions to ask when you are considering buying real estate. And then these are going to be, of course, built around somebody that's been representing buyers and sellers since 1998. We'll also include in today's update. What's going on in Santa Clarita Valley, and we'll be able to talk about the limited inventory and some of the better ways to approach it. If you happen to be somebody that needs to buy right now. And of course the sellers out there, they're really riding this wave of extra high prices, prices on real estate. That all seem to be exceeding the appraised value on property. In fact, a lot of the buyers out there that are in this particular market, aren't even concerned about what the appraised value is. They are willing in contract to state, Hey, listen, I don't care what this property appraises for.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (01:06):

I'm going to pray, pay, excuse me, pray to pay, but pay the price that the seller and I agreed to within the contract and counter offer scenario. We see that a lot. So let's get to these 15 questions to ask when buying real estate, the first question, and this is going to be dependent for you as a real estate buyer on your own earnings, how much money do you have coming in every month? How much money do you have going out? How does that look? And that question's going to be talking about what your total budget's going to be. Now, when you go to a real estate lender, somebody that's in a game of letting people borrow money, understand that they should be very friendly. They should be giving you the best service. They should be not taking advantage of you because you getting alone is going to depend on your credit profile.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (02:02):

Not how well they like you. And I only say this because there are a lot of people that come to us within the real estate process. As the second party, after they've spoken to a lender, they come to us and we listened to their lender story about how their lender treated them. And in some ways it's not very good. In fact, the lender should be treating you like you're top shelf all the time, because there's nothing special that can happen if they like you, or don't like you, they're making money from you just as the real estate agent you select is making money for you using their services. Again, they should not be weary of answering questions. They should be available. They should be there after hours on holidays and on weekends, because you're going to need questions answered. Yes, even at those times, we find when people are using, in some cases, mainline banks and lenders, they're very much adhering to a nine to five, Monday through Friday, weekends and holidays off type schedule that doesn't help real estate buyers out there in the market that need an answer on a Saturday evening may be proceeding labor day holiday.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (03:16):

When it comes to how much they can actually increase, there may be offerability or what happens if this particular residence is carrying a Mello-Roos tax, or let's say the HOA happens to be higher than they had previously planned on. These are questions that need to be answered, especially when the market is moving as fast as it is now in Santa Clarita. As we get close to closing out April, 2021, those questions do need to be answered and the lenders need to be there for their client. If you're working with a lender

that isn't there, reach out to me, myself, Connor MacGyver, you can find me online now pretty much everywhere. Call me on my cell phone. And I'll introduce you to a lender that is in fact available and ready to serve. So the total budget's going to come down to what you can expect to pay.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (04:12):

And also when you're looking at it and the lenders giving you how much home you can purchase, let's say $500,000. You want to also work in those other things that you're going to have coming up every month with regard to your payment. So if you happen to be financing $500,000 worth of real estate, also, you want to kind of factor in what your electric bill could potentially be. You'll be able to get that from us. If you're using us as your representative to buy real estate, we usually go into those questions in detail with the seller's agent and we find out what they typically pay. Now, there's really not a lot of verification, but you get an idea if they're paying, you know, $30 a month and they don't have solar for air conditioning, when they're living in an area that isn't covered by anything, that's probably a ruse, but usually, most of the sellers will give us information as far as what those utility bills cost.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (05:05):

And we'll be able to back them up with the actual utility bills themselves. We do see this happen quite a bit. All we have to do is ask. And so that's something to consider now, besides those things, your payment's important, what your insurance is going to cost you per month as important. So looking at your total payment, but then one of the things that also corresponds to budget is going to be your tax profile. When you go get your taxes done, or do your taxes, what is your write-off going to look like for actually owning real estate versus renting, as you may be currently are or not you're living with parents or whatever, but looking at that number, you could be getting quite a bit of money back per month and per year from the IRS, depending on you purchasing real estate and your own credit profile.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (05:56):

You want to look at those numbers as well. Then in California, number two talks about right, whether homes are located in flood zones or prone to other natural disasters. I think in California, we have pretty much everything. We have fires, floods, earthquakes. We saw this come down, back in the Northridge earthquake. It devastated a lot of real estate. We've had floods, we've had fires, you name it, we've had it. And we can go into biblically why that might be, but in this case we won't, but I will tell you this, whenever the disclosures come in and you're purchasing real estate, you're going to see where your home happens to be located. And it could be in a flood zone or a fire zone. In some of the areas out here in Santa Clarita Valley, we do have the Santa Clara river that runs through Santa Clarita.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (06:44):

So it could be close to that particular area and it could be slotted or identified by insurance companies. And even the, the County is being in a flood zone. For example, because of its close proximity with the Santa Clara river. The other thing it could be on the outskirts or, or on the edge of our particular campus communities, such as Stevenson, ranch, or Saugus, where the property basically boundaries budding up against land that hasn't been cleared for a long time and has a lot of shrubbery and dry foliage that could potentially cause problems. We've seen this. We've seen many fires out here, start and go through. Then after that we've had, of course the rains come in for whatever reason seems like horrible time, but that does create problems. Then, then of course we have the earthquake zones out here. You're gonna potentially buying any real estate here in Southern California.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (07:42):

You're going to be located in some kind of a zone and having to do with natural disasters. So please just know that going in the building biggest question is, can you get insurance for this particular property? If you can great find out what that number is. It could be that particular insurance company is charging you a lot of money for insurance. When maybe if you were to call around a two or three others or go through broker, they would be able to find you something that's a much better, more reasonable deal from a reputable insurance company. So look at that. When you're purchasing real estate, we do have a list that we give our clients whenever they get ready to buy real estate out here and also sell things to ask and things, to look out for another question that a lot of times, especially lately, because of COVID and all of those, those issues that that's created, we don't get answers to is why is the seller moving that could give an indication to you of maybe some kind of urgency in this market though?

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (08:45):

It seems like all the sellers are urgent to sell. And it seems like everybody gets multiple offers on properties. And those offers actually exceed where seller actually had the property priced at something to look at when you are purchasing. So be weary, but again, in a slower market with lots of competition, multiple homes for sale that fit your criteria may be finding that one where the seller really does need to get out because school is starting somewhere. You might be able to maybe take advantage of a seller situation if that's the type that you are and maybe get the property at a further discount. But at the end of the day, you won't know. And at the end of the day in this market, April 19th, 2021, we don't see that mattering much at all. Also to even get that question, answer from you, between you and the seller doesn't happen because in most property showings, during COVID, nobody is at the residence at all.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (09:46):

So for your chances and running into the seller, aren't really feasible on the other side. If in fact, you ask your agent, us to contact the seller's agent, then we can't have any communication between us and the seller directly because they're in contract with another agent, but I can ask their agent all day long. What is the seller? Why is the seller leaving? Get the answer to that question? Who knows if it's true, that's where we don't know. So again, if it makes sense, maybe it works, but try and use that as leverage, getting that answer really doesn't help. The other thing, too, when you're going into real estate, what's included in the sale. A lot of agents aren't really very informative when it comes to showing real estate, as we are. We're not that way where the other way we like to be informative.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (10:34):

So if you walk into a resonance and you see things that should be considered, and this, these are things that are installed in properties, usually attaching items to the properties with bolts and some kind of fastener. Usually that makes that item become part of the property. But I can't tell you how many times that we've had people purchase real estate. We get to the final end of it. And we do that final walkthrough. Then all of a sudden that item that they really, really liked that appeared to be fastened is gone or has changed a good one case in point would be a light fixture. Maybe you walk in and you see this beautiful, gorgeous crystal chandelier hanging over the entrance forum of the property. As you start to head up the stairs, just a beautiful item, assuming because it's installed and it's 50 feet above the ground, it's going to be something that comes with the real estate.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (11:36):

Not realizing that in fact, we should have asked for it going in, which I always remind my clients when you're coming into real estate. If you see something that really is an eye catcher, something that you really want, but it's installed, we should ask for it anyway, like a fancy ceiling fan. Of course, those are installed and it should come with the property, but the seller does have a way out. If you don't ask for that one specifically, they could swap it out with something else, maybe something else that doesn't have as much value or something else that isn't as loved and adored by the particular seller. So hence them taking it with them. When you walk into properties again, typically the refrigerator doesn't come washer and dryer. Typically doesn't come. If you want those items to remain. Definitely good to ask up front. Usually the installed items, the stove, the microwave, if it happens to be installed, not just sitting on the counter dishwasher, if it's not a standalone unit, but it's actually installed within counter space.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (12:37):

Those things typically come with properties at the end of the day, though, a good agent's going to mention those as well as the buyer, wanting them to be included just in case. And it really does make everybody makes that playing field a lot more level and keeps people more comfortable. Now, when it comes to inspections, looking at the properties, a lot of these things that you're going to be finding out as a buyer about real estate are going to come to you via disclosures. And these are things that the seller's going to fill out. And then later on, after you've had a chance to review those disclosures, depending on the timeliness of the seller, completing them is going to now have you having have a home inspection done at the property and you'll be there for that. That's something that you really want to make that time for and make sure that your agent has that scheduled.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (13:29):

So you're a part of the home inspection at any house you're buying here in Southern California. Well, when you do that, you're going to be there. And some of the home inspectors are pretty good. They might go review building and planning and they might look at the local city and jurisdiction and say, listen, I'm going to be doing a home inspection at this house over here at one, two, three, four, the corner of anywhere. And don't walk. So I'm going to do my due diligence before I even go to the property and meet my buyers. I'm going to have everything pulled. So we're going to find out what kind of systems are in place. Maybe there was a recall on the HPAC unit, maybe there was a building permit pulled for a back porch, but it was never completed those sorts of things. So you might find more information about that in disclosures or the home inspector might bring those to the forefront.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (14:22):

You're going to want to find out ultimately what's going on. If you have a large structure that was built on the property and it's something that looks like it should have required a permit yet there is no permit. Then you have a decision to make. At that particular time, of course you could ask the seller to potentially go out and have a city inspector comment permanent, but there are limitations to that. And in fact, the city might come out and they'll say, well, we're to have to find you for building this or you tear it down and then you've gotten nothing out of it. Now you're missing a porch that you actually would have liked just to consider when you do look at property and real estate, understand that without any kind of validation, whether or not things are permitted, it could be that they are not. If usually things are built within a contractor type grade,

Speaker 2 (15:15): Usually the appraisers

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (15:17):

Will accept them, but it's going to depend on the load program and that particular appraiser, when it comes to the home inspector, though, they should be able to pull whatever permits have been completed. Also, when you look at disclosures that the sellers produce, there should also be further information as to what things the sellers did permit and what things they didn't permit. Things that usually go on the inside of the property, maybe hot water heaters excluded a lot of times don't get permitted. But again, there are things in place that they maybe should be just depends on the city, local jurisdiction, but you want to check and find out if in fact the permits were there and they apply to any kind of major renovations or additions. A lot of times what we'll see when we go into a property, let's say the property has completely new flooring and floor molding. A lot of times we found out at some point during disclosure process that there was a flood in the home. Some pipe broke consent, it made the seller go through their insurance company, make a claim and get all the flooring and crown molding and bottom of the dry wall replaced because of the extensive flooding. Those are things that's good to know because what could happen?

Speaker 3 (16:35):
Well, mold could have formed

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (16:37):

Somewhere in the property because maybe it wasn't dried out properly before the new flooring or floor molding or the walls were repaired on the property. That's something that a home inspector is going to be able to use to follow up on and look a little bit more diligently at whenever they do their home inspection, better protecting you. Now, of course, the roof is something that the home inspector should look at. That's another part of, of the process. When you are looking and questions to ask, when you're buying the house, they should also either walk it or drone it so they can find out what's going on with it. A lot of the composite shingles on properties out here, that's usually in Santa Clarita Valley. And even in the rest of Southern California, those are, what's used mostly asphalt shields shingles. You don't see that often, but it just depends on where you are.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (17:29):

That Spanish Mediterranean type composite, shingle tile roof, that concrete type ceramic roof. That's what really is prevalent here in Santa Clarita Valley. And those do carry a great warranty. They seem to last forever, but the problem is, is they do crack. They do slip and with the fluctuations in heat and cold, they do get damaged over time. So when the home inspector goes out, they want to verify that if there is damage to the tile on the roof, it has an affected the paper underneath. So the roof is still holding its waterproof ability from the rains and the things that happen to fall on and have a wet nature. What they'll do is they'll also go to the undersurface. If they can gain some kind of access to whatever attic might be in place, they'll also look underneath. And if they see anything that might resemble some kind of a previous leak, we'll try to find out what that may have been.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (18:25):

Or if it's a current leak, we'll find out if, how we're going to ask and approach that to be repaired prior to the buyer buyer closing on the property. Now, when they do look at the tiles are a lot of times when they are cracked, we do have tremors out here. We have earthquakes, like I said, we have very dramatic, cold and heat here, here in Santa Clarita Valley. Also, when people go up on roofs, maybe install something else. I like solar, or maybe go up on the roof to attack a window or to clean out a

gutter. If they don't know how to walk on these tiles, they're going to end up breaking them. We had a closing in Valencia, not too long ago, and they must have had over 150 broken roof tiles. And you can tell that was committed by somebody that was up on the roof, doing some kind of renovation to the underneath of the eaves.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (19:14):

They didn't know the first thing about walking on a tile roof. They ended up breaking a trail of these particular tiles from one end of the house to the other. So it's good to know. The sellers were able to at least credit us to have that done. But part of that process, it required me to have one of my roofing contractors go out. Of course, somebody that the buyers agreed to to go out and look and give us an estimate for that roof and how much it would cost to have repaired. So they were able to get that done. After escrow Crow closed with a credit from the seller. Now we're talking about appliances, major systems in the house, electrical HVHC again, I, as I stated earlier, it's important to look at those items. And in fact, we do see that with a lot of those items, the disclosure process that's in place is going to answer some questions on the other side of it, the home inspector, if he goes, pulls, permits, or knows that this particular house has these type of systems in place because of their time doing home inspections, they know where to look.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (20:22):

They can find out if there have been recalling on particular units and get that cinched up with you as well. And then finally, we're looking at the time on the market reference points for the seller's home in this particular market. I wouldn't expect to see houses on the market more than five, 10, 15 days before finally getting into escrow. It's going to depend though, on the agent's timeliness, how hard working they are and how many offers they received and what their particular method of responding is. Some agents really only respond to a few. Some agents really do their due diligence, and they'll get back to everybody that wrote an offer. And some agents fall somewhere in between. If you are encountering timeframes long waits between responses, just reach out to your agent and say, listen, I need to be kept in the loop. Even if you have no information for me, at least call me and tell me, Hey, Connor, I have no information for you.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (21:26):

A lot of agents drop the ball and they believe that their clients are already aware of how it actually works in real estate. And I would say 95% of the people out there purchasing real estate need to have this explained to them. So they don't think that they're being ignored by the seller's agent after they have their own agent, as their buyer's agents submit a nice, solid, strong offers with all the supporting documentation. Now, as a buyer, when you are making an offer on real estate, what I mean by supportive documentation is going to be, you're going to need your pre-approval letter, your proof of funds. And also the clear, concise written offer with a type of loan program you're going to be using. These are necessary items to accompany the offer and they have to be submitted. One of the things that agents make a big mistake with is whenever they're submitting offers, and this is at no fault of their buyer, but when they're submitting offers, they don't include all of the supportive documentation.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (22:27):

So now their email ends up to be a three or four-string email instead of one that has all of the information contained within that messes with a seller's agent, especially if they're dealing with multiple offers and if they have a lot of offers and now they have to try to pull apart three different emails to get

the documentation from this particular buyer. In some cases, they may not. So having a good solid agent that knows how the offering process works and is able to make that follow-up and cover it with you is incredibly important. So not right now, we're going to go to srhr.com. That's going to be a Santa Clara to home experts. That's where I get all the information for the current market.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (23:19):

And now we're going to go ahead and pull up the inventory here for Monday, April 19th, and cover that currently still in a seller's market. I've been speaking with quite a few sellers that we're going to be putting their listings on the market here over the next month. And within that process, a lot of the questions have to do with what if, what they're looking to buy isn't available. It isn't ready. There are mechanisms in place and right now, because it is a seller's market, it wouldn't be unreasonable. If you are a seller, but needed to stay put in your house after it actually closed and sold for a few months, it wouldn't be, it wouldn't be exceptional to do that. It would be kind of a formality, especially with the number of buyers out there. We would just want to say, listen, would you be able to have a rent back for the seller?

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (24:09):

If he, in fact, chose you to purchase the residence and the rent back would be for a specific amount of time. So basically you as a seller would be able to remain in place at your property and you would be able to stay there for whatever time you agreed while your new house was being built, or while more inventory coming onto the market for where you were going or whatever you need at the time for, and then what you would do, your payment would be whatever the buyer's payment was, uh, at that particular time. So you would basically cover everything, their property mortgage, their insurance, and whatever other things that they pay per month on the property. So you would be covering that if their rate and then they would be able to, uh, stay where they are as well until in fact, they moved into your property.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (25:03):

So we're going to look here. I did pull up, uh, Santa Clarita Valley and I put together all of the active listings here. So we're going to go ahead and look at this real quick. So this is going to be a daily inventory. This is going to be residential properties. That's going to include single-family, residences, condominiums, and townhomes. And it's going to pull down duplexes. Quadraplexes triplexes, which we don't have very many at all. And the cities that I'm going to pull this return for are going to be Ken and country steak, new hall, sagas Stevenson, ranch, Val Verde, and Valencia. So it's going to be everything out here and you'll be able to see it. It's going to be active properties and it's going to also be coming soon. So let's see what the results are. So currently right now, daily inventory, we do have a total of 196 active and coming soon listings on the market and all of Santa Clarita Valley.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (26:04):

Now, when I go back and pull off the coming soon listings because they're feasibly not on the market, that returns 164 active real estate listings currently on the market in all of Senate, creative Valley cities, all residential in nature. Then that's April 19th, 2021, Monday at 10:34 AM. Now when I pull the actives off and look at the coming soon, there are 32 listings that agents have slotted to becoming on the market at some time in the future, they have 21 days in which to start advertising these coming soon listings. If you're not those listings and you're not going to see them on a lot of the internet websites out there, including the agent's own MLS driven websites, you're going to have to contact your agent,

contact me. I will put it together for you. So you'll have the coming soon results in your search. So you're best able to prepare for what listings are going to be coming onto the market.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (27:07):

Currently with these 32 listings that are going to be coming onto the market within now in the next 21 days, there's a lot to choose from there. A lot of various price ranges properties in different cities. And I believe we're going to still continue to see this trend. As the agents start being more and more comfortable using the coming soon listings, it started last May and with COVID and the properties being locked down and difficulty in showing properties. I don't believe agents really took full advantage. Now I see that number going up, but we're still very limited with real estate inventory, not a lot of homes for sale, but again, that trend can't remain the same. Also, the trend that buyers are paying whatever they are agreeing to on contract with the seller, not giving any care to the appraised value. That trend is also going to stop at some point in the future.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (28:03):

The question is when right now there's a lot of equity in this market. So people are looking to have this foreclosure market break and houses start to fly off the shelves and go on sale with a lot of extra real estate inventory. I don't see that one of the things you can look at. And I said this back in the day in the last foreclosure market pay strict attention to new housing. If they're building which they are, we have a whole new development out there by magic mountain, opening up five point. If you're interested in that, please let me know. We represent clients in new housing all the time, but having said that they're very active and they're building upwards of 15, 16,000 residences out there, and they're going to be doing the same up at the plum Canyon development up at skyline. They have another couple of hundred residences to build out there as well.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (28:53):

Plus more in the future. One of the things I will tell you about new housing, a different dynamic. And I was speaking with a toll brothers rep last week. He had mentioned to me, that toll brother is now going to be the first new home builder. That's going to start the highest and best process with regard to their listings. So a new housing, if you've ever purchased one before, usually, you know what that price is. It's on a sale sheet, you'd go in and that's your offer. Usually, if the property has been sitting for a while, or if new housing isn't moving as fast as the corporate entity that's attached to, it would want them to move. There might be some fluctuation in bendability on that price that you offer. That's where we'd come in. We do that negotiation. We try to get your lot premiums lower.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (29:40):

We try to get the cost of the house lower. We try to get extra incentives and these sorts of things paid. But at the end of the day, if new housing's flying off the shelf, we might be best off being able to get you some kind of credit with closing costs, being able to get you some kind of a rebate, but there is always money saved when you use us for the simple fact that you're not paying my fee, I get compensated from the new home builder. So my fee is mine to do with what I need to do. So at the end of the day, if you want to see the new housing inventory, go to Santa Clarita, home experts.com forward slash new Santa Clarita, home experts.com forward slash new. And you'll be able to look at those residences and what's going on here as far as the building goes, but they're very, very active new, or the toll brothers starting the highest and best response to offers could also potentially have buyers.

Santa Clarita Home Experts radio podcaster (30:34):

And he wouldn't answer the question but could have buyers also giving up their right to have as part of their contingency, the appraisal, meaning that they're going to pay whatever the difference is. And if the appraiser goes out and says the property isn't worth it, the buyer has still agreed to go ahead and pay that difference. That's a slippery slope, ladies and gentlemen, be careful with that. If you want more information or want to know why I think that is or isn't, please give me a call. You can find me online. I am Connor MacGyver, Remax gateway here in Santa Clarita Valley. Thank you so much for listening to this week's real estate broadcast. Monday, April 19th, 2021. It has been a pleasure and I hope up buyers. You digest that information. If you're not a buyer, but know somebody's interested, please send them this, send them this radio show. It's going to be posted up on youtube.com forward slash S C V moves. That's our YouTube channel. You can go ahead and forward that to them. They'll be able to see the or listened to this audio podcast, and hopefully, it will help them make the best decisions when it comes to real estate here in Southern California. It is my pleasure. I am Conor with honor. Thank you so much for listening. Have a fantastic week. And when you're ready, I'll be

Speaker 4 (31:50): Here. Be safe.