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I operate the most complete and longest running blog about Santa Clarita real estate. I am the true local area expert living in the Santa Clarita Valley during and after my LAPD career. I'm all about the protection and service to both my home buyers and Santa Clarita home sellers. The biggest compliment that any client of mine can give is by way of them referring their family, friends and those whom they know want to buy or sell real estate. I'm honored in each instance. Our business operates primarily by referral. 

First and foremost, my method is by teaching. I'm not teaching my home buyers and sellers on how to be real estate agents. I'm teaching them how to be best protected when it comes to buying and selling real estate. 

The best way to do this is by our in-person meetings which are done in my offices, over the phone or by remote meetings conducted with my Zoom Affiliation. I was the first agent to employ a podcast/radio show in my housing market updates. I was also the first agent to conduct seminars online with many participants where questions could be asked and where the best solutions to actual real estate problems could be discovered. I have had up to 50 live participants in my seminars within the online realm and mandate that my home buyers and home sellers become educated in one of my many processes.

Buying a home is not like buying a pair of shoes. There are a lot more moving parts and the price point is much larger. 

Anything that takes 30 years to pay off, typically, needs to be approached with care and concern. Making a mistake with real estate is expensive and some never are able to recover.

Take the last real estate cycle. There were a lot of home buyers that jumped in without testing the waters. If you did so during the later part of 2011 and in the 1st quarter of 2012 - your jumping in was the best thing you could have done. 

That is because during that time that was the low part of the real estate market. Between the fall of housing in 2007 and the current date, the last absolute low point in the Los Angeles Areas was last quarter 2011 and the first quarter of 2012.

I approach real estate with my clients with knowledge and experience. I know that most home buyers take the word for what they read online, no matter the source. If the source has a large well-advertised name, most take the information conveyed as the word of a higher power.

If you are interested in your better future in real estate, do not do that. Make sure that you are

July 17, 2019

38 percent of Santa Clarita homes are reduced before selling

Current Santa Clarita market statistics provided via the Southland Regional Association of Realtors, the SRAR. That is our local Board of Realtors and where I'm a full-fledged member in good standing.

During today's real estate radio show, I was crunching the numbers and talked about the 5 top housing market indicators that I view in relation to the local housing market.

One of the stats that I typically run jumped out to me and I wanted to give further clarification pertaining to it.

38% of the homes experience at least 1 price reduction

This is at least a single price reduction before closing escrow. There are plenty of homes that go through multiple price reductions during their listing period.

The Cities analized were Castaic, Canyon Country, Newhall, Saugus, Stevenson Ranch and Valencia California. My Santa Clarita real estate inquiry and data was also used restricting the results to only Residential real estate.

In some cases, the listing cycle is relatively short. This is due to the home that has been listed for sale moves quickly. This happens when the home is priced right by an expert in the real estate business and when that same property has a high buyer drive within the local market.

Homes that meet those specific criteria move quick and can have been sold before processing or within a very compressed escrow time.

For the data point, I ran the current residential listings that meet three criteria within the local Santa Clarita housing market.

Total active, in process and in escrow listings - Santa Clarita Valley California

I ran the current active listings, those homes which are in escrow, but where the sellers want them to still be shown and still have additional offers. The final status that I included are those Santa Clarita real estate listings which are being shown currently as "pending". The pending status is where the homes are in escrow and where the listing agents are confident they are going to finish and close escrow.

The real estate and housing markets are home buyer and seller dependent. This is one example of the market changing. People are "used to" a particular type of rhetoric that they are hearing buzzing in their ears. They have received, over and over, intelligence about real estate friends, family, and other sources.

My viewership for our YouTube channel and the listens to my HousingRadio show has grown over the years. I have been able to increase my audience whereby people I run into recognize me and find that I'm easy to talk to. So, they ask, "How is the market doing?"

Bad real estate market data and updates can be the reason why bad decisions are made. I want to keep my clients informed and safe from making mistakes.

When you are ready, hit me up and I'll take great care of you. Be safe - I'm Connor with REMAX and I'll be here when you are ready to have your real estate WON.

Real Estate Radio show transcription:

Total Santa Clarita properties with price changes and price modifications.

Housing Radio: (00:01)
Good to everybody. Connor Macgyver, a lot of people ask us how we get that market data and how we compile it so everybody knows what's going on here in the Santa Clarita Valley market. And I'll tell ya, I do have kind of a cool system. So let me give this to you and I'll show you what we do when it comes to publishing, publicizing the market data so you can actually see it and so people can take small bite-sized chunks of it. So let's go ahead and pull this out here. I just need to find the right, the right access point. So we're going to go ahead and go to SCV blog.

Housing Radio: (00:41)
And one of the most recent articles I've written actually the most recent, so hence this video is about five recent trends for Santa Clarita real estate. So I look at five things when I'm putting the market together, courses, other dynamics that get involved. But these are like the main, the main things that are looked at with regard to Santa Clarita real estate, wanting to know and answering those questions that people have pertaining to the local market. So the first thing is gonna talk about new construction, new homes. If the new builders are pulling out of the market and they're leaving town, it's probably a good indicator that something bad is about to happen. This is something that we did see last real estate cycle. They weren't all abrupt like that. All of a sudden, one day they're one day gone. But towards the end as we got closer to 2007 they definitely were slowing down.

Housing Radio: (01:31)
So that's something to watch right now. Currently in Santa Clarita Valley and this is the uh, the Intel year. So let me pull this. You'll see here in Santa Clarita valley, there's just a ton of new housing construction, new Santa Clarita, new Santa Clarita That's my system. But you'll see, I mean there's just, there's just so much building and they're continuing to build more. They do have a lot of new inventory that's going to be coming as well. Next thing we want to look at as the resale inventory and when we want, when we're watching this dynamic. As you can see here, the a, the graphic has been very sick lik like all of real estate up and down. Of course now we're swinging into an upward trend where we're starting to gain more inventory on the market. If there's enough buyer drive, then it's gonna absorb that inventory.

Housing Radio: (02:23)
If there's not enough buyer drive, then we're going to start building inventory. So instead of a hundred units or so, we're gonna have 200 300 as long as that keeps going, then we're going to start getting into different real estate dynamics in the local market. We're going to transition from a sellers market into the inbetween, which is kind of the middle between seller and a buyer's market and then finally into the buyer's market. Another great statistic to look at though happens to be that. Now the next one we're gonna look at, and I also talked about foreclosures, bank owned properties, real estate room listings, and short sales default sales as being part of that indicator. Because if we start a lot of those property types coming on the market, again, another great indicator that the market is starting to go from being somewhat healthy into a distressed mode.

Housing Radio: (03:09)
Now taking longer to sell real estate. Looking at those timelines, we're doing that as well because the longer it takes to sell houses, it's gonna indicate either a lot of inventory, lower buyer drive, but most likely it's a lore lower buyer drive. Another indication with the, with regard to market out here in Santa Creative Valley, we look at these things now when you're looking at real estate down, I will tell you that you want to look at a larger picture, a larger snapshot of what's going on, not week to week or maybe even month to month. You want a good, a good chunk, three, maybe four months, so maybe working on quarters per year, every three or so months looking at that data. What happens is, and I put this in here in the fake real estate news cycle because there's fake news everywhere. There are a lot of, a lot of companies, a lot of people syndication websites or whatever that will put out information that might be true on some fronts but ultimately are going to not be true in the overall case.

Housing Radio: (04:13)
They might put out things that have changed this week but aren't going to be prevalent next week so you can see that they'll take small tidbits of information like a market change or a market shift going from the winter months into the summer months. Do those comparisons and then throughout that data getting people nervous or whatever, whatever the data is going to support, they're gonna throw it out there. Being fake real estate news. We want to look at larger pieces anyway. I think it helps. I'm interest rates is all our, also something incredibly important to look at. One of our local best lender here in Santa Clarita. He did help us prepare this soil put together where those rates were as of yesterday, the 17th but again, something to look at and we're at four or less just depending on your credit score and all this other factors, but when interest rates are high or if interest rates go up or down, that's gonna again cause the market to start to fluctuate.

Housing Radio: (05:15)
There's rumors that you know the powers that be want to get those interest rates down to 3% which will really kick off that market moving not only in resale fashion, but it would also kick off the market in refinance fashion. So in the resale and refinance world, it'd be incredible because even yours truly they went down to 3% would be refinancing the real estate wheel. But again, that's somewhat of a rumor. We'll see if that even happens. But right now they're just about four and all time. Not Bad, not bad at all. Really, really good interest rates. So that's something else. Price reductions and the Santa Clarita Valley. Now, currently we're 38% a, I read to the math that so a 38% of the listings out out of these 1,130 to a 466 excuse me, 432 had their prices decreased. So we see that whenever we see those numbers, it looks like the market's starting to change.

Housing Radio: (06:13)
This is month over month, so you're going to want to look at that data as well. What properties are having their prices changed? Of course, if it goes the other way, you see a lot of sellers starting to increase their prices online of the real estate they have for sale or something's going on, especially if they're getting those higher prices. The market has started moving quicker. I'm Connor archiver. Please check out STV Eretria right here to STB nest and I am absolutely honored that you took the time to watch this video. When you're ready, I'm here, Conor macgyver, remax, be safe and we'll talk to you soon.

Speaker 2: (06:50)
Okay. Have a great day and when you are ready I'll be here. If you want to listen to more of our Santa Clarita blog real estate radio show. click on the link just posted <---------

July 17, 2019

5 recent trends for the Santa Clarita real estate market - Updated 2019-198

All it takes is some time to digest the current Santa Clarita real estate market conditions. I have five recent housing trends that are shaping up the Santa Clarita real estate market, keeping it free-flowing.

I'm constantly looking at the Santa Clarita housing data and I surmise that we are cooling off currently and making a slow transition from a home seller's market to the place which I call the "in-between".

Remember, when you want to buy any real estate, including new housing, you need your trusted advisor by your side, in the game and ready to perform. I have a ton of questions I ask the new home representative for my real estate clients benefit, directly to the new home builder's representative.

New Construction and New Homes breaking ground

New home real estate in the Santa Clarita Valley should not be embarked upon unless you a new home expert by your side. I offer that directly between myself and my real estate clients.

But, as you can see, we have over 19 locations that are mapped out at and over 20 that have been approved to move forward. Imagine the traffic that will exist after all is said and done.

But, the SCV - It's a great place to call home for sure.

New homes have a lot to do with the local Santa Clarita real estate market. We learn that the think tanks within the new home corporations are remarkable.

Preceding the last foreclosure cycle, back in 2007, I noticed that the new home builders were closing their doors months before the 2nd largest subprime bank folded in the way of bankruptcy. I did not "click" until years later, but once it did the writing on the wall was clear.

When a person is interested in the strength of the current housing market, they have to look no further than the new home builders. Come along with us for a new home tour in the Santa Clarita Valley. We will take you around and give you the intel that you may have a hard time obtaining from the new home builder's representative.

Looking to the New Homes and the builder activity is one of the five tenents that we use to see how the Santa Clarita real estate market is fairing.

Local Santa Clarita re-sale inventory building

Charts and graphs are lovely and provide small bite-sized chunks of real estate data about the Santa Clarita real estate market.

Number 2 on my "Santa Clarita real estate market" update list is the standing inventory. What are the amounts of housing inventory, and how do those numbers stack up against the historical records?

Some examples of the impact of this real estate market statistic would be the following.

If we were in a seller's market, we'd see that inventory is not only moving fast, but we'd have a typically lower than average inventory level. In such a market, the home sellers can be at the top of the transaction and get most, if not everything, that they want. They can entertain multiple offers. Those same home sellers are also able to have constricted time frames as it relates to the buyer's inspection period. Besides being able to demand the highest market price for the real estate they are selling, home sellers in a seller's market can be "choosy" when it comes to financing types and escrow time frames. When the Santa Clarita real estate inventory is low and the buyer drive high, the Santa Clarita home seller's market is in its right stride.

When the inventory starts to change, where the current listings are increasing week after week at a pace that is outrunning the seller's desire to sell homes, the market is moving into the "In-between" real estate market, which is something that I have coined recently.

The great in-between is where the real estate market is more balanced than being in a Seller's market or in a buyer's market. There are very few distressed homes (foreclosures) that are on the market for sale. The typical reference point for the distressed real estate inventory during an in-between market phase is to have less than 1% homes which are distressed on the market for sale.

These Distressed homes which I am referencing are:

  • Foreclosures
  • Bank Owned Foreclosures
  • Real Estate Owned listings
  • Short Sales - aka Short Pays
  • Default Sales

One of the best indicators for the market, making the switch from either a buyer's or seller's market would be a substantial increase or decrease in inventory, respectively.

The final market dynamic would be the home buyer's market. In this typical market, you will see inventory at all-time high levels. While there may be plenty of Santa Clarita home buyers in the market buying up real estate, it won't be enough to outrun the seller's inventory that is entering the housing market.

Another factor, which would be rare, but could turn a housing market is the new home builders overbuilding then having to liquidate their standing inventory at a discount. If this were to occur in high numbers, it could move a real estate and housing market from being in the in-between to a buyer's housing market in short order.

It's taking longer to sell Santa Clarita real estate

When Santa Clarita real estate inventory starts to build and when we begin to have the amount of inventory to cause the sales of real estate to slow, we will start to show that increase in averages of "Days to Sell."

Currently in the Santa Clarita real estate market - as of Mid July 2019, we are seeing a slight uptick in the housing market wherein the Cities of Castaic, Canyon Country, Newhall, Saugus, Stevenson Ranch, and Valencia it's taking a bit longer to sell homes and real estate due to the days to sell is increasing.

Of course, this dynamic, like all real estate and housing market dynamics, are best digested in larger pieces. When you look at the statistics from month to month you will see much more aggressive jumps and market fluctuations. Of course, the shorter duration statistics makes for multiple points of commentary within the fake news cycle.

Fake Real Estate Data - Please allow me to segway into this for a minute. Within the online channels, there are websites which are not "local". They are large corporate real estate websites which are publicly traded on the stock exchange. They are in business because they are selling information and data. Your Information and Data! 

They are selling it to a lot of various entities. Not just real estate agents, but lenders, box stores, home improvement businesses, locksmiths, car dealers, mortgage brokers, banks, credit unions, the local grocery store, local companies, and others.

One way you can protect yourselves is to find the "local site." It's worth your time and that action will keep your personal information safe from being sold and you getting spammed to a high degree. I write articles such as this to inform the masses about the online tricks and to find the best information about the local Santa Clarita real estate and housing market.

If you are looking for real estate elsewhere, just let me know, and I'll find you that "local" expert that you will be able to contact and handle your real estate dealings. I will not sell, offer, give, or covey your personal and private information. I will only make the introduction to the agent which I would use in that market if roles were reversed.

The Days to Sell indicator within the Santa Clarita market is currently on an overall upswing due to local inventory numbers increasing during the past few months and with a strong buyer drive, which is not enough to lap up that extra inventory. (keep reading, BTW, any and all links within this article, as with most of our website, are internal in nature only. I don't have ads; I don't allow any real estate vendors to pay for placement, I'm all in and don't want my clients to have to deal with that junk!)

Interest rates are currently in the high 3's for Santa Clarita home loans

Interest rates are holding on for dear life at these levels.  Rates could go either way at any time.  Here are rates as of this moment:

  • 30-year fixed conventional 1st Mortgage with 25% down - 3.875% (3.930 APR). Loan amounts up to $484,350.00 = $2277.59
  • 15-year fixed conventional 1st Mortgage with 25% - 3.250% (3.350 APR). Loan amounts up to $484,350.00 = $3403.38
  • 5/1 ARM 1st Mortgage -  25% down - Fixed for 5 years and then becomes variable - 3.250% - (3.2605 APR) Loan amounts up to $3,000,000.00 = $13,056.19
  • 7/1 ARM 1st Mortgage - 25% Fixed for 7 years and then becomes variable - 3.375% - (3.385 APR) Loan amounts up to $3,000,000.00 = $13,262.89
  • 10/1 ARM 1st Mortgage - 25% Fixed for 10 years and then becomes variable - 3.500% - (3.510 APR) Loan amounts up to $3,000.,000.00 = $13,471.34
  • 30-year fixed 1st Mortgage FHA loan 3.50% down - 3.500% (4.914 APR). Loan amounts up to $484,350.00 = $2213.01 + $349.08 PMI = $2562.09
  • 30-year fixed 1st Mortgage VA loan 0% - 3.500% (3.681 APR). Loan amounts up to $484,350.00 = $2174.95
  • 30 Year Fixed rate 1st Mortgage Jumbo Loan 25% down - 4.375% (4.399 APR).  loan amounts up to $3,000,000.00 =14,978.56

All of the above are based on a 740 credit score with 25% down on conventional and Jumbo Loans.  Rates are subject to change without notice, your mileage may vary!

Thanks to Mike Meena with Augusta Financial for today's real estate interest rates that he offers to our Santa Clarita home buyers.

Price Reductions in Santa Clarita Valley occur over 25% of the time

Currently, in the Santa Clarita Valley, we have 1132 real estate listings that are now either "Active - pending or active in escrow."

The market indicator that is finally addressed to get a good handle on the current Santa Clarita real estate market is going to be Price Reductions and Price Increases.

Within the real estate, a home seller rarely increases the listing price of the home which is being sold. When you are looking online and see a price increase, it's mostly the case where a real estate agent hit the enter button before double-checking their work. They entered all of the listing information within the multiple listing service, in a form flow type entry portal within the MLS website. When they were done, before double-checking the number on the contract and the number they typed into the "listing price" field, they hit publish the listing.

Once that happens, there is no going back. This is the reason why I am always very critical about hitting that button. Of course, mistakes and errors happen. However, this is one more thing that I am able to control, at least somewhat, and I know that to have a real estate syndication website pull the data again after the initial publish action is going to take time.

The pulling of the real estate listing by the real estate syndication websites is immediate. The pulling again to update changes within that same listing does not happen as often. Heck, they are not local. These are the websites I spoke about, and they are massive and try to cover every single home, condo, townhome, and piece of land that is for sale, has been sold, and is in existence.

Currently, as of this Santa Clarita real estate market article - Published July 17, 2019, the Santa Clarita Valley Residential real estate numbers are the following pertaining to price changes.

I researched the cities of Castaic, Canyon Country, Saugus, Newhall, Valencia, and Stevenson Ranch. I ran all residential real estate and housing inventory in the SCV.

I also pulled the active listings, those listings which are under contract in escrow still wanting back up offers (active under contract), and I also ran the homes which are in escrow not wanting any further showings or offers (pending).

After compiling the data, I found the following.

  • Total residential inventory in Santa Clarita - 1132
  • Full residences that have experienced a price change during their current listing time-frame - 466
  • Overall price increases which occurred in the Santa Clarita Valley within this market study - 34
  • Total price decreases which happened within the same data set for SCV residential - 432

That translates to, regarding our current Santa Clarita housing market, 38% of the homes for sale are experiening at least one price reduction before selling!

As you can see - we have a lot of price reductions, which starts to pick up when the real estate market is beginning to shift.

The shift precursors could be only very temporary; such is the case when the market changes due to the cycle of the calendar. For example, we see a slower market traditionally during the winter months. When the market breaks into spring and then summer, most years we see dramatic upswings in real estate activity, both on the real estate seller's side and the real estate buyer's side.

We are Mid Summer and the next calendar contributing market change potentially be the transition from Summer to Fall. I will keep you posted on all fronts and I'm Connor MacIvor.

I'm glad to be at your service as it pertains to everything that is real estate. Thanks for taking the time to read about the Santa Clarita real estate and housing market. Our update includes the current market statistics as obtained from the multiple listing service via the Southland Regional Association of Realtors - the SRAR and our SCVnest website which provides the real estate listings which are in the Multiple Listing Service, updated and always legit. SCVnest also powers our Santa Clarita blog, which is number 1 on Google.

When you are ready, I'm here and I will be there for you and yours pertaining to everything that you desire to do with the real estate realm in the Santa Clarita Valley (personally handled by me), or outside of the areas in which we serve our clients in real estate (vetted and personally referred by me). Be safe - I'm just a phone call or text away, 661.400.1720.

July 16, 2019

Santa Clarita housing bubble and what new 5 market types may contribute

There are many different "related" reasons why a real estate market may have serious inflections in "type".

A foreclosure market - a market that is predominately "foreclosure" in available inventory - an investor heyday. This is the rich become richer and those who are trying to keep their heads above water sometimes slip off of the dock.

A healthy market - where the current market is below 1% foreclosure or distressed in nature. This is where we are as of this posting about the Santa Clarita real estate bubble, July 16, 2019.

A Buyers market - this type of market exists where we have an overabundance of housing inventory. Lots of units to sell where they have built up beyond the ability of the current buyers to buy them. This is a place that is known as the "buyers zone". Buyers are able to get more discounts, credits, and items repaired or adjusted on the homes that they are buying. This is also the market condition where a home buyer is able to get extended timeframes and where the "removal of contingencies" may be relaxed to the buyer's benefit.

A Seller's market - this occurs when the inventory of homes in lacking and where the home buyer drive is high. This type of market is typically the result of the occurrence of a "healthy" housing market years after a foreclosure cycle. In a seller's market, the sellers are able to pick and choose the offers which are presented, in multiple amounts most times. Their savvy agents are taking advantage of this type of market for the seller's benefit in the multiple countering approaches to each home buyer that put pen to paper. Reduction of buyer investigative time frames, escrow periods that fit best with the home seller's needs and being able to be "choosy" when it comes to the types of financing presenting by those home buyers is what makes this type of market a seller's advantage.

The "in-between" market - this is the place where people become somewhat unsteady. This is also the place where the talk starts about there being some type of "housing bubble" that is going to occur in the real estate market. Other words that are used which seem to fall softer on the ears would be "market correction". Typically, this is the transitional phase between a seller's market to a home buyers market. On the way through the fray, we hit this "place" that has a real estate and housing market showing signs of being tired. Homes start to remain on the market longer and longer. Home sellers, out of desperation and for market reasons, start price reductions. In this type of real estate market, the "in-between", buyers learn fast that they should be increasing their "price search span". If they are qualified at 500k - they should increase that amount by 10%.

The 10% figure could be negotiable in a housing market that is about to experience some type of adjustment. Ultimately, the home buyer gets a response from the seller equating they should "pound sand" in reference to their low ball offer. However, buyers are not scared to make lower than listing price offers in the "in-between market".

Pull back and look at the overall economic picture

When considering whether or not a housing bubble is upon us, a good place to start is a review of housing prices. Where are we on a historical level? If we are 5% higher than the last high point in the local Santa Clarita real estate market, we have then exceeded the historical height of housing prices.

When looking at this data, it's not hard to figure out because most people move every 5 years or so. If the last collapse was in 2007 - this is 2019 - we are a couple of years on top of the 10-year history. Finding a single-family home that sold back 10 years ago has been saved by our local Board of Realtors. If you want to check on that data, just send me what type of home and where it's located and I'll give you the intel as to where we are currently and where the past historical high was.

Real estate has been the best long term investment. If you look back to when my parents bought a home - which was back in the late 1960s and early 1970s - interest rates were different and the home prices were a lot lower than today. Back then people had somewhat of the same process they have today. They considered that homes would not get more expensive than X. X - being the most expensive cycle back then. However, my parents paid less for their home back then than I currently paid for a mediocre automobile and if they were alive, I am sure they would be reflective about how home prices were sure low in their day in comparison.

So, what happens next to our local Santa Clarita real estate market, are we at the point of having our housing market pop?

To explore the housing market further, we need to take a look at the new home builders.

You may not want to buy new. You may like the established and value-driven re-sale homes that are currently for sale. That is a better fit for most. However, there is nothing quite like buying a new home, it has that "new home smell".

We represent our clients when buying new homes! Our representation is FREE for you. Call Connor for a new home tour and make sure I'm with you your very first visit, I'll take you to ask the right questions that will get you the maximum benefit! 661.400.1720 Connor.

When the last foreclosure cycle was building, the new home centers and the new home builders slowed their roll in building in stages. They first slowed and stopped building "available to move in" inventory. They transitioned to "build to own". Then they were taking orders and slowed to closing their doors completely. Most of the new home centers were not at "build-out". Build out means when all phases are completed and when the model homes are sold.

In fact, in most cases, the new home builder model homes were fantastic deals when all was said and done.

Did they know that the housing market was about to collapse? I cannot say for sure, but they did have the insight to pull away before the big subprime lender fell. The Sub Prime Lender claiming BK in March 2007 caused a domino effect. Being number 2 in Sub Prime Loans caused a massive wave of foreclosures and short sales in our Santa Clarita housing market, not to mention the rest of the USA.

Interest rates have a say about the state of the current real estate market

The lower the interest rate indicates how money is "easier" and "more plentiful" for buying homes and real estate.

However, money may be easy, but to acquire it is not. There have been a lot of "checks and balances" put into place since the last fall. You can say a lot has been learned.

Most have put those "old tricks" to the side and are only working in the 30 years fixed loan model. The Adjustable Rate Mortgages(ARM) with hard and soft pre-pays are no longer a "thing", for now. I hear some lenders speaking about the ARM loan products attempting to surface, but our clients are happy to steer clear.

When we are counseling those considering buying real estate, the discussion comes down to what you can afford versus what you qualify for.

Those numbers may be far apart. The real estate lenders are going to qualify you to your max. The maximum amount of mortgage you can handle related to the overall housing cost including your downpayment and amount financed.

You may hear the amount of the mortgage payment at your maximum qualification amount and faint.

This is where it's up to you and yours to put the brakes on. This is one occurrence where it's okay to press them all the way to the floor.

Have your lender or mortgage broker give you the payment amount at less than your maximum at 50k increments until you have a good fit.

You have the rest of your life to be mortgage poor, which I don't recommend ever, but you absolutely should not do it your first time out.

Look at your bills, the addition of your new mortgage payment, look at the tax break (consequences), this is typically positive, but check with your CPA, look at the costs of homeownership - Home Owner Association Fee's - Home warranty - services like pool - yard - general upkeep. Look to the unexpected or historical track record related to your monetary needs. After careful analysis, you should be able to arrive at your very best scenario.

Something that some don't consider is the tax implications of buying a home. Check with your CPA to verify, but mortgage interest is deductible on your taxes. That is a benefit of homeownership.

Factor in the present and not by future earnings

When considering whether to buy a home in any real estate market, even those which seem like they are going to pop, don't depend on your future earnings.

If you have a lot of your pay in the form of overtime, stay away from that being included in the factoring of your "approval amount". The home lender or mortgage brokers will use it if there is enough of history. You can ask them not to include it. If you are expecting a future promotion, don't use that "pay increase" to move you outside of your "comfort zone" even for what you will rationalize the pain will only be temporary.

We work with a lot of police officers, deputy sheriffs, and firefighters. Some have more access to overtime than others. It's not rare to find one from those professions who work a lot of overtime. So much so they are almost doubling their pay week in and week out. I will make the obvious inquiry: "What if the overtime stops?" Think about it and don't let your mortgage and home purchase depend on something that could stop.

The same applies to promotions. It could be that you are banded to promote on the very next list. Promotion freezing happens. What if they freeze the promotional list with you on it and you have just bought a home depending on that pay increase?

Of course, "future earnings" are typically not able to be used by lenders, they look backward not forward. This is for you own protection and a good thing. However, if you are looking at your qualification amount and it's uncomfortable, don't use "future earnings" to validate it with yourself, so hence my point.

Is the Santa Clarita market on a housing bubble

No, we are in the "in-between" closer to the seller's market side currently.

Real Estate inventory has started to increase from where it has been and days on market time frames within the Santa Clarita Valley cities have been increasing.

It's taking longer to sell Santa Clarita homes and homebuyers are slowing their buying activity.

People are still buying Santa Clarita homes, sellers are still selling Santa Clarita homes, they are just doing it less frequently.

The summer of 2019 is upon us, the date of this article about the Santa Clarita housing bubble is July 16, 2019. We are very close to the point where most folks who "fled to vacation" have returned and if they are considering buying or selling, they are going to want to start soon so they are synced with the upcoming school year if they have public school, dependent children.

Currently, escrow time frames in the Santa Clarita Valley are 45-60 days, depending on the loan type and lender saturation.

If someone bought a Santa Clarita home today using a 20% down convention loan today, and if the home they are buying is not contingent on the seller having to buy a home at the same time, and if the home buyer did not have another home they needed to sell to buy, they'd be able to close by August 16, 2019. - That's 30 days with a Conventional Loan.

Today, if a home buyer was going to buy a Santa Clarita home with an FHA loan using 3.5% downpayment, if the scenario above was the same, they'd be able to close August 30, 2019.

And, if a home buyer was buying a Santa Clarita Valley home using a VA - Veterans Administration loan, their closing date would be September 14, 2019. That's a Saturday, therefore the closing date would be a day earlier or Monday of the following week.

All loan terms are loan dependent and some lenders can move faster than others.

Also, the home loans depend on the backing. Such as the VA, the Veterans Administration keeps a close watch on their appraisers. They appraisers don't typically get to appraising the real estate being bought by the veteran as fast as the other lending types.

I'm Connor and I'm honored to be your Real Estate agent in the Santa Clarita Valley or be your referral agent for areas outside of where I'm comfortable representing buyers and sellers of real estate.

I have been selling real estate, representing home buyers and home sellers since 1998. I'll be here for you when you are ready.

Look to our Santa Clarita real estate blog, it's number one! - Just ask google!

Glad to be a part - contact me when you are ready.


July 16, 2019

Find the best agent in Santa Clarita real estate and it is free

Do you like free things?

I do. I love things which are FREE.

Unfortunately, free for you may not mean free for others or everyone.

Case and Point.

There are real estate "we find you the best _______________ agent for FREE".

The continue to talk about what they look at, "performance data, sold timeframes, comparisons between the listing price and sales price, overall historical online reviews and more."

The thing they don't tell you is how they obtain that data and which agents get placed onto their website.

The other thing they don't tell you is how much they are charging the agent to be a part of their website and on the "preferred referred realtor" list.

I'm sure by now you are reading between the lines.

When I first started in real estate there were very few outlets for agent advertising.

That was in 1998. The internet was not a thing unless you consider AOL, America On Line, Dialup a thing, which it was pretty sweet, but cannot be compared fairly to the tech of today.

MS-DOS was a thing and to have a 56k modem was being in the upper class in society.

AOL and Yahoo real estate came about and they were not MLS dependent. I'm sure there were many lawsuits field because of those systems advertising a protected "realtor" listing without the seller/agent and brokerage's written permission.

That issue has been solved and online you can find homes for sale where the "brokerage" is allowing their publication.

Back in the day, searching for homes online was not typical.

People relied on yard signs, mailers, newspapers, real estate books, open houses, and the local agent.

To be the BEST in the Business, you would have all of those methods of marketing covered every month.

Today, being the "best in the business" only costs a new or seasoned realtor one thing.

That's money.

Because over 87% of those searching for homes that are for sale are using the internet to do so, the internet and that cost is the price of admission to appear on those syndication websites.

However, to have the agent listed as one of their "preferred" realtor is great. To do it better, these websites keep their data protected and would rather 'refer them' to you and charge those agents an additional "referral fee".

So, the rub is this. The agent is paying to appear on the website, the agent is also paying for your personal information so they can sell you or list your home.

1 - Paying to be one of the "reviewed" agents.

2 - Paying for your personal information to sell you

3 - Paying a referral fee to the company who built the website, this would be out of a successfully closed transaction, part of their commission, up to 50%!

What is a real estate agent to do who is not willing to pay these websites for leads?

Well, they better be hitting the keyboard and writing about real estate. Educating the masses about how to buy a home and how to sell a home.

They better have a strong blog that is at the top of the Search engine results pages.

Being on top of the search pages - that is harder than ever with the over 200 real estate syndication websites. With the biggest being Trulia, Zillow, and They have Q and A - Internal Blogs and other resources that keep their websites on top of the search pages. Agents don't do it on their own platforms, they do it on these websites in the hopes of it helping themselves.

Unfortunately, it does not help the agent, it defeats their purpose. At the end of the day, the real estate syndication websites are winning the battle.

Another way that an agent can attempt to rise above the online ads and real estate syndication websites is to do something that is 'out of the box'. Like self publish a radio show. A real estate radio show or podcast.

We have California real estate radio. Check it out and let me know what you think.

On our real estate radio show we are a conduit away from the real estate syndication websites. I know for a fact the using the numbers and statistics to prove that someone is the BEST of the BEST in real estate is a mistake. I know many agents who have horrible reviews and a totally bad reputation who are at the top of the realtor food chain.

I would not hire one of them my life depended on it.

The personal approach, with a solid client commitment and a written mission statement is a better way to go. I'd rather be an agent that closes 50 deals a year when I'm able to handle everything between my partner wife Paris and I, than have a mega team where the team lead has lost contact with those whom have hired them.

Remember the golden rule, Treat others as you want to be treated? That is a much better adage that "I need to close this next transaction so I can make my Maserati payment".

Money is great, but money should not be anyone's primary drive. The drive should be to help not to be greedy.

I provide a service. I am a service provider. I sell homes and know that in most cases it's very difficult to "do it yourself" pertaining to selling and buying a home.

Some do it and they do it well. Most are not up to the task and would cause themselves way too much harm without having a top Agent on their side.

It's the same when my car needs to have work done. I could youtube how to do it. However, I do not. The investment in renting tools alone would drive me to drink :)

I don't attempt to represent myself in a lawsuit, I will hire an attorney. It's my right to represent myself, but without an attorney by my side, I would be doing myself harm.

As far as buying and selling homes, with all the previous lawsuits that have occurred during the past 50 years, which has been the reason why all the "disclosures" that accompany each and every home purchase and sale (41 general), without an expert it's tough to keep safe.

Without being accused of fear-mongering, you can go sell and buy real estate without needing a real estate agent. If that learning curve is too much, then you need to hire a real estate agent who operates by the golden rule. Call Connor 661,.400.1720.

When wanting to find the BEST agent in the Santa Clarita Valley, google that phrase and see what comes up.

Above the Fold on Google - Best Agent in Santa Clarita Valley

What next? - Here is Page 1 both above the fold and below the fold. Above the fold relates to the screen content that is at the top of a website that appears first on your screen. Below the fold is what appears after you scroll down to the content below (the fold).

Below the fold on Page 1 google best Santa Clarita, agent

Strange right - scvnest which is our site is low, but the only local real estate website appearing on the page. Also, REMAX of Santa Clarita is also my local google places page. that appears in the three pack under the map on the "above the fold" results.

The rest on the page are either paid placement, ads or real estate syndication websites.

It's no wonder that agents have a horrible reputation with all the "pay for lead" placement that is within the results on every single real estate search.

To climb on top of the results is to either pay or write content.

You will see Yelp, at the time of this article we are top three agents with 5-star reviews amongst all Santa Clarita real estate agents. Yet, we are not in those results which are showing on page 1, I wonder why?

However, the odd thing is we have a ton of "filtered reviews" on Yelp. Read to decide for yourself if they should be "held hostage".

Our Santa Clarita real estate method

First and foremost, while we do a lot of business outside of the Santa Clarita Valley. There is nothing quite like staying local. Helping the local Santa Clarita home buyers and sellers buy and sell in SCV - that is our true comfort zone.

The why is multi-pronged. We live here, we have lived here since 1996. I was LAPD so I have a very close relationship with local Law Enforcement. I know how they operate and the depths they will go to to keep Santa Clarita safe.

Our kids both started and finished school (one left as of the date of this post).

Plus, we started our real estate business here with REMAX back in 1999 - when Paris joined REMAX. I started as a part-timer in the San Fernando Valley because I was a cop there.

However, once Paris was licensed just after me during the next year, I moved my license to be with here and join with our Paris911 real estate business at REMAX.

From first glance you will see her and I. We both can do with the other can do, but we have things which we are better at than the other. Actually, Paris is best at everything, I'm the one that has a few things that I'm good at :) - Tell her I said this, please.

I typically meet with sellers and show home buyers. I maintain our internet exposure and tout on our sellers home listings online. I write the content, manage the radio show and keep everything that our sellers are entrusting us to sell fresh.

Paris aka the negotiator. She handles the offers and fights for our clients when facing another agent on the other side of the real estate transaction.

The negotiation is only part of what makes her good at what she does. She is a motivator. She keeps the other parties to the transaction inline and focused on the job they have been entrusted with.

If it comes to the lender for the home buyer and we are representing the home buyer, she ensures they are taking care of their part of the transaction. The buyer's loan. She makes sure that the lender is performing and is obeying the delicate timeline. She also makes sure that if any contingencies are going to be removed that are lender dependent, that the lender gives their approval in writing.

When it comes to seller representation, one of the most critical parts of Paris' process has to do with negotiti0n of credits/repairs and buyer's performance. She ensures that the home buyer is doing what they need to do and that they are obeying the seller's timeline. Of course, the all-important removal of the buyer's contingencies is within her skill set when it comes to enforcing that with the other agent who is representing the home buyer.

In Santa Clarita real estate, like pilots, there are very few old bold agents. We aren't old, but we are on our way. Experience since 1998, that's saying something.

When you are ready, please do your due diligence when it comes to searching and hiring a Santa Clarita real estate agent. Do some searching and look deeper into the search results. Check into the "local agent" who is showing up in the Google or Bing search results.

They are truly local, long-standing and if they are coming within the 'organic' results, they are quite remarkable to be able to compete at a local level with the massive and publicly traded real estate syndication websites.

What now? If you are interested in real estate within the Santa Clarita Valley, call Connor at 661.400.1720.

Of course, after you do your online inquiry and separate truth from fiction.

I'm Connor MacIvor, I have been with REMAX since 1999, I have been a licensed buyer/seller representing realtor since 1998. Santa Clarita Valley is my home and I'm here when you are ready to move forward.

My first step with any and all home buyers and sellers have to do with my Santa Clarita crash course on real estate.

BE well and please let me know when you or when someone you know is ready for our assistance.

July 7, 2019

Santa Clarita home inspectors speaking of the fate of real estate agents

I could talk about being a police officer. What that means and many of the intricacies of that type of career. LAPD 1990-2013.

I am also able to speak about being a real estate agent. Boots on the ground version since 1998 - CALDRE #01238257.

The only reason this works and I'm taken seriously by those doing the inquiring is that I have the experience, vast experience, in both of those fields.

I did/do those jobs. I have had a chapter II in my life, being that pertains to being a full time licensed real estate agent in the Santa Clarita Valley and other locals within Southern California.

I do a lot of varied research. My ultimate goal is to be at the top of every search result as it pertains to local real estate. Everyone deserves the best real estate agent by their side throughout each and every transaction, plus before and after!

I agree with the local Santa Clarita home inspector about their being varying business models in real estate. I can direct you today to a licensed real estate agent working for a company that will discount their services by 1.5% from what I charge.

However, if you google their name, they are practically non-existent. If you research their "sold price vs. listing price" sales record you will see there is quite a separation between those two statistics, meaning inexperienced in the pricing of real estate in varying markets.

If you look at their transactional history, those numbers by no means make them a local real estate expert. There is no showing of proof in their business related to them being compared with others which are not the discount type, but who have sold homes for less than a 1% difference between listing and selling price.

Then there are those websites which tout about being to find you the best real estate agent.

The funny thing is the agents on those websites pay them, at least at some point... (maybe not as transparent as advertising purports)

Real Estate going the way of the Travel Agent analogy

He hit this one quick, inferring that real estate agents may befall the same fate as travel agents. The only thing similar is we both are known as "agents". The travel agents are not members of the Trade Organization known as "Realtor".

That's a big deal. But the much bigger deal is that we there are more than 40 general disclosures with each offer for a home, condo or town-home in Southern California.

When we used to use an agent to book travel, I did not have to put my signature or initials on lawsuit/attorney/court generated disclosures.

Try that one with a "Robo-Agent".

Negotiation about things you don't understand

There is a lot more to lose than money in a real estate transaction. What about timeframes? The entire real estate contract is about getting things done in a particular order and within a particular time frame.

If you have bad guidance or someone who is all about the discount, guide your acceptance of something that was countered or worse yet, instilled by your agent, that could become something that you are unable to recover from.

Such as accepting the seller's terms related to the time in which you have to conduct inspections. If you were to reach out to the overpriced inspector that wrote the article which was the nexus for my "quasi rebuttal", about doing an inspection in three days, he may say he was not available.

If there are differences between Santa Clarita home inspectors, which there are, and if he was the best in the business, which he isn't, then you may be putting yourself in further jeopardy. All because you went with the discount over the agent who has to be good to survive at the higher pay scale.

I'll stick to what I know best

Real Estate. Buyer and seller representation in the Santa Clarita Valley and within some of our adjoining cities. That is what I know best. Of course, I know when a lender is gouging a client. I know when a party to the transaction is not moving as fast as they should, in order to, keep the buyer and seller out of jeopardy.

Those are the things that need to be "tuned up" regarding the specific transaction by someone who has the fortitude to do so.

However, when it comes to the 'nuts and bolts' of the home inspection and the knowledge the good ones have, I'm not well versed.

I rely on the SME - subject matter experts and the knowledge attained during training, on the job, and during their own life experience.

I do look and read every item on the report they produce. I make it a point to be present during the debrief after the conclusion of the home inspection.

When the information is relayed to me and the client I take notes. Knowing there is going to be a written report prepared, I am able to vet the inspectors work to ensure what was stated is within their written report and depicted in the photos.

If the report is received and if the report lacks something that I observed or the client pointed out, that is a bad sign and should be addressed immediately with the home inspector if it's an item for concern by anyone. At one end of the spectrum, the home inspector could tell you that it's nothing to worry about. On the other hand, they may tell you it is and that they missed it. (not very reassuring!)

Discount real estate companies come and go

None have lasted and stood the test of time. RE/MAX, Century 21 and Coldwell Banker - all have stood the test of time and are the biggest in the world.

All are international and all are recognizable brands.

I'll admit I'm old fashioned in a way.

I'm not a fan of a real estate agent who does not have a brick and mortar office. I'm not a fan of a real estate agent who exists in the cloud.

I want to be able to find said agent if things go badly and if they attempt to cut all communication due to embarrassment or worse.

No one will out "Walmart - Walmart". At least not in the near future. The same can be said about Amazon.

With all of the intricacies in real estate, the multitude of decisions to be made and all the parties involved the way of the untrained, non-expert discount brokerage and discount agent are going to be the first dismissals amongst the standing real estate agents.

Currently working with all re-sale and new home clients

Have you seen what your agent is doing online? Have you google'd their name? Maybe their name and brokerage? If they are not the "main result" in the search results, they are doing it wrong.

When we google ourselves, or have our clients do it, we make up a ton of results. Here is the most recent run of my name only all in lower case: connor macivor you will see that I personally have 52,000 results for my name pertaining to me!

To be all me - that's impressive, to say the least.

We have a great radio show at that gets us a lot of top placement for Santa Clarita real estate within the search engines online.

Some of the other main channels have to do with our being the top bloggers and real estate consultants online for the Santa Clarita Valley cities.

Longest running Santa Clarita real estate radio show

We started when podcasting was not a thing and very expensive to store the shows. Several years ago 'online storage' had become less expensive and over time doubly so.

When it comes to real estate and the Santa Clarita real estate and housing market, we always want to keep our clients informed and safe from harm. I personally want our clients to know the answers the most frequently asked questions pertaining to real estate.

I have been syndicated on Stitcher Radio, iTunes, Soundcloud and others for a long while.

Be safe - thanks for taking the time to read my quasi-rant and I'll be here when you are ready.

July 3, 2019

HomeBuyer Expert | How many homes should I see before making an offer?

You should look at real estate listings in person until you are certain that you have found "the one"!

Before I get into a more detailed answer to this question by the Santa Clarita HomeBuyer Experts, I want to catch you up on our fantastic homebuyer help topics.

The proof in the pudding is having the local agent experts write about the housing market in clear and concise real estate market updates.

To truly grasp the state of the local market is very important. To have your own Santa Clarita agent who is telling you the truth then backing up what they are saying with "testable" real estate data, that's top level.

Something else what you need to be made aware of is how to play secret squirrel. When you are looking online, when you want to start your search, the first page of your google search or bing inquiry is going to be populated with corporations paying for space.

Those are "AD's". aka Advertisements and they are in most cases by those websites who have been built upon monetizing your personal and private information.

Therefore, if you are needing to give up who you are to search for homes, you need to know who you are giving your personal information to.

I'm Connor MacIvor, - On my system, you will register, but I'm the only person who will see who you are. Therefore, your personal and private information is safe with me.

Furthermore, I never put my clients in harm's way. You are searching for homes and real estate via my MLS connected website to the local Boards of Realtors. All your searches are kept private and secure.

When you go to do an inquiry and ask for "homes for sale in Santa Clarita", for example, it is that exact action that is getting you followed those real estate websites that are paying for that kind of advertising and marketing.

Just know that once you go to and set up an account, you are good to go for all real estate listings in the Santa Clarita Valley and elsewhere in Southern California.

I explain to my Santa Clarita home buyers, all home buyers at all skill levels, to send me those properties that they are finding "off-site" from our system. That way I can vet them and find out if they are being advertised and marketed in order to get you to give up who you are so your personal information can be sold.

This is the great thing about having me in your contact list. If you have a question pertaining to anything that is real estate, lending, loans, home search, foreclosures, financing, searching, discount properties, grants and other local incentives that you are seeing advertised online, I'm only a call, text or email away.

Program my personal contact information into your phone now before I get into the Santa Clarita Blog article about How many homes should I view before making an offer.

Connor MacIvor - Realtor - Real Estate - Agent


If you have anyone asking who you know in real estate in California, you can just forward my information to them. I don't care if they live in northern Canada and are interested in how the Los Angeles market is fairing, send them my way and I'll be glad to inform them.

Referrals of yourselves, friends, family and work associates are super appreciated. I will take great care of them, and if they are not conducting real estate business where I cover real estate, then I have a massive network of great agents, not all REMAX either, that I will professional refer them to.

Onto the Show - Let the Santa Clarita HomeBuyer Expert give you the answer to how many homes should you look at before making an offer.

How many homes should I look at before making an offer?

I will tell you as social proof, we have had clients that have looked at a single home during an open house and have called us to make the offer.

We have had other clients that have seen over 100 homes before they found the one and wanted to make an offer on.

Once you get dialed in and once we have the "ninja grasp" on what it is you are looking for, the chances are that you are going to find that perfect home more sooner than later.

Not just looking at a home that is for sale

During our "process" of showing real estate, I pay particular attention to the property as an investor would. I will also bring you up to speed as my real estate home buyer pertaining to what I'm looking for.

I want the home that we are looking for to "above all else" has good bones. If there is evidence of dry rot or termite issues, then those issues need to be investigated all the way to "solved", before I will let my buyers proceed through to closing.

In some cases, I have had my home buyers enter a residence that was on my research list to view when we encounter mold under a sink or in a closet.

Mold is another one of those issues that will quickly have me turned off as to whether or not the buyer should proceed. Mold investigations are very expensive. If the seller seems willing to remedy all the mold situations, then we may be good to go. That is going to be dependent if the mold abater is able to write a certificate stating the entire home is mold free after the seller's expense in having it remedied. (this is not very likely - so hence with my discovering mold when showing my home buyers, it typically results on us moving on to another listing)

Some of the other items that I look for are things like "upgraded plumbing and piping" if we are viewing an older home.

I want to see when the home has been built and deal with things like acoustic ceilings, which if older may contain asbestos. In some cases, these types of ceilings have only been covered by sheetrock or plywood and not removed from the interior structure. This is not good as it will always pose a threat to the home buyer and those who are living in the home.

I look under the sinks for evidence of leaks - I want to see the Air Conditioner compressors and how they are cleared from obstructions so they can breathe. Those are also good to look for regarding any pet damage and pet damaged caused by urination.

If the A/C seems like it has been serviced recently, that should translate into the home where the HVAC unit is. Most times in a modern home that is going to consist of a large rectangular box sitting in a closet of some type or in the attic, or elsewhere. There will be an intake vent nearby and there should be a filter in the unit or within the intake vent.

If the filters are clean, I point that out that the homeowner, either for our benefit or because they replace their filters ever three months as suggested, are doing it right and that makes me happy.

If the aluminum type tape on the unit is newer with a newer service date sticker, that is something that is also noted.

Having to replace A/C or the HVAC unit itself is expensive. While most home buyers are going to have a home warranty that we are going to insist the seller pay for, most of those companies won't swap an entirely new system if something breaks. They are going to bandage the issues or pay off the homeowner who has the home warranty coverage. This is because it's more cost effective for the home warranty insurance company.

Regarding the home warranty. When we are representing a Santa Clarita home buyer, we refer the home warranty company we like, that we use personally, to the seller's escrow company to ensure the policy is purchased through them. If something goes wrong after our clients move in, I insist that they call me first so I can run interference between the home warranty rep and my clients. It works great and is something I have learned since 1998, it's the best way to do business.

Most agents disappear after escrow closes. I want to keep my position in your phone as you programmed to go to with regard to real estate and all future business, questions, and referrals. I'm here for my clients always.

Something else that I look at when viewing real estate with my clients is the condition of the visible roof. Depending on the type of roof and its condition, replacement is expensive and all roofs have a failure date. The date when the leak starts. That date is unknown to all parties. However, a good look may indicate if that date is coming more sooner than later.

When looking at homes with my real estate buyers, I also want to see how the visible concrete is looking. Is it cracked with large rises and dips in the garage or throughout the surrounding concrete pads? This event could indicate a problem with the foundation of the home as it relates to settling.

This is a red flag that needs to be pointed out to a home buyer. Not that we would not approach the seller to make right on this type of discovery in escrow, keeping our clients deposit safe from becoming the property of the seller, but in some cases, they may refuse to fix it.

Don't forget, all real estate is sold "AS IS". From the initial offer you will have written by us for you, it says that "AS IS" within the contract.

All other items are "negotiable" at some point, including all "discoveries" that will occur during the investigative phase of escrow.

When I'm looking at real estate with my home buyers, the slope in the back yard is something that most home buyers don't notice. I want to know when it rains what happens to the water? We are not in Oklahoma. When it rains there, it could be torrential in the amount, but the ground soaks it up quick.

In California, when it rains, the water gets soaks up a little, but then the rest needs a place to run, which is not against the home, standing so the walls can soak it up.

If there are no drains and if there is no place for the water to go, expect next to the home and up against an outside wall, that could pose a serious problem for the home buyer. Maybe the current home seller has had issues with heavy rains and water drainage in the past. During the disclosure phase, we would push for further explanation of those items so our home buyers can make their best decisions.

Attic access, turning on things that have been "shut off" like plumbing fixtures and toilets, are not truly verifiable during the typical real estate viewings with my Santa Clarita home buyers.

However, during the inspection phase, all of those issues are discovered, documented and explanations are requested. It's because of that the homebuyers I work with are able to know all there is to know about a home that they are going to buy.

Fencing around the property and "neighbor" impact on the property being viewed. Are the fences shared? Are there trees, shrubs or other things that are currently impacting the home that I'm showing to my buyers? These may be issues in the future, for example, if there is a vine, which has its origin from your neighbors' yard, which is covering the shared fence, which is on your side and growing like a weed, having it removed after you close escrow could be an issue.

Having those things pointed out by a HomeBuyer Expert is super important. You may be okay with the vine, but if you don't have it point out to you may equate to just another surprise you did not need!

There are so many items that a Top HomeBuyer's real estate agent is going to know about the homes and houses you are viewing with them. When you watch the HGTV shows, they point out the obvious - anyone can see those items.

You want an agent who will point out the not so obvious items to keep you protected and secure to the best of their ability.

I'm Connor MacIvor, Santa Clarita Home Buyer Expert. This is another addition to our HomeBuyers Top 10 Questions asked on Realtor(dot)com.

I have been representing home buyers and sellers in the Greater Los Angeles areas since 1998 and I'm glad to be at your service.

When you are ready, go to your contacts in your phone and search for an agent, if you did you due diligence from the beginning at the beginning of this post, I'll be there and you can call me, text me or email me with all of your real estate requests.

Program me into your phone and be awesome. When you are ready, I'll be here.

Connor MacIvor - Real Estate - Agent - Realtor


Call me when ready and I'll take great care of you!


July 2, 2019

HomeBuyer Expert | What do you think the seller will accept as a fair price?

Probably an offer that is closest to fair market value. There are other factors that a HomeBuyer Expert Real estate agent would also explore. I will get into those below.

First things first. To skim the waters and get you the best Buyer Information possible.

Never give up any of your personal information online. If you must register only do so on an MLS connected site where you know the owner is a real estate agent, not a syndication company. My site is one such example - - You will have access to all of Southern California real estate and homes for sale.

If you are looking elsewhere, that's fine, just don't give up who you are. Text me or call me with the information and I will vet it properly.

This is a good time to have you enter my contact information on your mobile phone.

Connor MacIvor - Realtor - Real Estate Agent


After you fulfill this objective, you now have me with you when real estate issues, requests, and questions arise. You can text me, call me or email me and I will respond quickly with the truth and true information.

Also, if you have someone you run into that needs real estate help, you can direct them to me. We are always able to show our gratitude when we get referrals from our friends, clients, and readers.

So, save me on your phone. I will be useful I promise.

When searching online, you will run into listings and homes for sale on the syndication websites that are "too good to be true". They are low priced, they are in great areas and you can have them for pennies on the dollar. BE warned, those are baited homes and properties. Don't give up who you are to get more information. Give up my information and I'll find out what they are and get that information back to you asap!

Use me, that is why I am in the business of buyer and seller representation in Real Estate.

Also, When entering into open houses or new home centers, don't let them know who you are. By saying your name, it prevents you from having your own real estate negotiator on your side when buying a home. That is a more prevalent tactic by the new home builders and new home centers in California, just know it so you don't fall into that trap. FREE works well and to have a FREE expert new home negotiator on your side when buying a new home, that is a super bonus. We have saved our clients thousands of dollars when buying a new Santa Clarita home. Don't limit your new home representation possibilities.

I have covered these topics in rich detail elsewhere on our Santa Clarita real estate blog, it's at the Top of Google, FYI. Do a search by topic in the right margin of every blog page to see more information.

What do you think the seller will accept as a fair price?

First off, we are going to need to see how much the true value of the home, condo or town-home is relative to the comparable sold history in the neighborhood. We will need to look at sold homes, those which have closed in recent months. Maximum of 180 days from the date we are making our inquiry.

Zillow's Z-Estimate - It's okay to look at, but you will see that in some cases (most cases recently), it's either too high or too low in comparison with the Board of Realtors Sold Data and Market Reports.

Other online estimates of value - Go ahead, do your research, but you will further see what I exemplified by talking about Zillow.

The rubber will meet the road when we get into the multiple listing service MLS and start the research.

I will look at 180 days of sales history. If I have 10 results of closed properties within 1/2 mile or within the same tract in comparison with the home we are interested in writing an offer on, that's great. I will then whittle those 10 homes down to the most recent sold dates. I will then ensure that the homes that we are looking at for comparable and fair market value are by the same home builder, or in close proximity and as close as possible.

A perfect comparable sold home scenario would be exact matches on square footages, similar upgrades, and modifications, same year built, same bedroom and bathroom count and same lot square footage and elevation.

If those "most perfect" choices are not available in the "closed listing", then ranges need to be used. Also, I will determine how much each addition and subtraction from the subject property as compared with those sold listings is worth.

For example, if all the closed (sold) homes that are in the closest proximity with the most recent sold dates only consist of three bedrooms, and the home you are having us help you buy has 4 bedrooms, then I use historical market data to determine how much an additional bedroom is worth.

After that research is done, we know for certain what the fair market value of the seller's home is.

Now - onto the other real estate market factors which will impact our offering price.

Functional Obsolescence of the seller's home

Is there an item, upgrade or other issues that are "dating" the seller's home for sale? Is there something that is not desired by the majority of those buyers in the current housing and real estate market?

It could be like having some Granite pattern and in a color that is not desired by a majority of people in the current buyer market. If the homeowners installed this type of granite in the kitchen, backsplash, bathrooms and on the fireplace, it may be a home buyer will not want to proceed with making an offer because of the cost involved in the changing of those items.

Something else that I have seen is where home is a three bedroom, it was built as a three bedroom, it is advertised as a three bedroom, but once we go and see the home we find out the homeowner decided to remove a wall separating bedrooms 2 and 3 - making one large bedroom.

I always find that some sellers are oblivious to how changing their homes can impact future sales. That is why I have a Same my Information on your phone method.

I want any and all home sellers to call me if they are going to change any of the functionality of their home. Including installing solar panels. Sometimes those solar panels don't transfer very well and it creates deals that fall out of escrow. I have seen it before.

Location can also be an indicator of being able to obtain a home for less money than the comparables indicate. Everything being equal, people want to live in close proximity to others for the most part. There are other's, less than a majority, that wants to live "away from" others. Determining the type of market, whether or not there are advantages to be had for my home buyers related to the current location of the home they want to buy, is super important.

Length of time to sell - Days on Market Time for the Seller's Home

Another important factor in answering the question of how much will the seller accept from a home buyer for the home they are selling comes in the "how long on market" question.

How long has the seller's home been on the market for sale? How does that time compare with the other homes that are on the market?

All things being equal, the seller's home may just be following the standard averages within the current housing and real estate market.

As a home buyer, this is something that you may be able to leverage to your advantage. However, going in half/cocked is not the right method.

My home buyers are armed for bear. I have given then all the tools and data points in order to be able to have our case presented to the home seller via their agent without being offensive.

If in real estate everyone treated each and every transaction like a business, then it'd be an easier world.

Unfortunately, this does not happen. Most home sellers may take offense at a lower than asking price offer.

This is a mistake, look at all offers received as a starting point. Also, as a home seller anywhere, another point is not to put your home onto the housing market for sale at your bottom line. Leave some room for negotiation.

Today's real estate buyers understand that type of pricing strategy.

Historical activity causes more clenched fists

If a home seller has their home on the market for sale and if it was standing room early, where the listing price was such the home received a lot of visits from those looking, they may be harder to move from their current listing price.

Then you have the time that has transpired between the time the home was first listed to the time when you want us to put in the offer for you.

Those visits may have been hot and heavy in the beginning. That being the case it may have made the seller a bit bold in the approach to pricing.

However, at the end of the day, my advice to all home buyers is to give it a shot. Similar advice comes from me to the home sellers of the world that we represent, don't be offended. It's always a starting point in both cases.

Another type of historical activity has to do with the home sellers having been in escrow with a home buyer for a time. Real estate transactions fall out of escrow or cancel for various reasons. Not all reasons have to do with some type of bad discovery made by the home buyer or their inspector.

Sometimes real estate transactions fall apart due to issues that arise on the home buyer's side. This happens in the case of a home buyer not being able to close the transaction due to an issue with their loan. That is why I always advise my home buyers to ensure they are getting the best in lending advice and services.

Use local, use a lender that has been vetted by your friends/family or your real estate agent. Make sure there is some type of enforcement mechanism that exists between your referer and said lender. That is why it's important to ensure you are using a real lender with a real office, just in case something goes awry and you need to take some type of enforcement.

We are very good at finding out the "real cause" of why an escrow may have been canceled. We bring that to our buyers and we strategize from there after all the data is obtained.

The money is not the only thing on the table

After all the data is obtained we are getting closer to making a GREAT offer, but not quite.

Timeframes need to be talked about. How long are we going to give ourselves to conduct inspections? Within the contract, the regular time frame is 17 days and 21 days for the loan.

If these time frames are shortened on the buyer's side, it may make the seller happy. The same with the buyer's loan. Maybe the home buyer can make their loan something that is more "secure" from the seller's standpoint?

Enforcing "as is" from buyer's side can also be of help if there happens to be a lot of interest on the seller's home.

Shortened escrow time may also help if the seller wants their home to get through the sales process fast.

All of these changes need to be discussed between all home buyers, the buyer's agent and the buyer's lender. It may be that some of the changes that want to be attempted will cause harm to the buyer and are unachievable by the entity that will need to adhere to those changes.

I have been representing both Buyers and Sellers since 1998. The bottom line in my client based business model is that I always treat my home buyers and sellers the same way I want to be treated.

That is otherwise known as the "golden rule".

Program my information into your phone, if you have not already,

Connor MacIvor - Real Estate - Realtor - Agent


I will be here to help you make the best decisions when it comes to buying or selling Santa Clarita real estate. If you happen to be in a different city or market, reach out to me if in California so I can direct you to the best of the best.

I have the best exposure for local Santa Clarita real estate market online. We have the number one positioned real estate blog in Santa Clarita on Google.

My method is about advice. Wanting both my home buyers and home sellers to be the most educated in the housing market place. I don't want my clients to have to call anyone else. I am here for my exclusive clientele.

Be safe - Talk soon and please ensure you are getting the very best in Santa Clarita real estate representation possible. When you are ready I'll be here.

July 1, 2019

HomeBuyer Expert | Can I buy a home and sell my current home at the same time?

Yes - and I will explain.

First things first - As your local Santa Clarita real estate expert agent - yours truly, Connor T. MacIvor, I have a whole series about how you can buy your first or 10th home in the smartest way possible.

Our most recent real estate article for homebuyers that want to approach buying a Santa Clarita home as an expert came in this form:

What home can I afford?

Within the online channels and on TV, you are going t encounter these "websites" that are posing as if they are working for your greater good. They say they are going to help you find the best agent possible. One that has high reviews. An agent that is superior to all others that represent home buyers and home sellers.

Here is what you may not know. They are charging those agents a ton of money to be represented on their website and referred to you!

Everything online is expensive. You using me to buy a home is not. In fact, you utilizing my services to represent you in the procurement (buying) of real estate is FREE. You don't pay my fee - I get paid by the home seller.

The best way to approach real estate is to have your own agent right out of the chute. A local area expert that did not come about by what they were paying for leads. Someone that is homegrown, who has their relatives and investments in the local housing market.

How to do this is by searching google and looking in the "organic search results". Sometimes this is very confusing to do. Most times it seems that the "organic results" are getting fewer and fewer.

You then want to look to the local real estate website. Not the large Syndication Sites. Those sell your personal and private information. You want the website that has a local address. The real McCoy. The actual local Agent.

At this time, before I get into selling one home and buying another at the same time, save me in your phone. Program my name and phone number so when you are ready to do anything real estate related in the State of California, I'll only be a couple of presses away!

Connor MacIvor - Realtor - Real Estate


That's is - Save this information as your California connection when it comes to real estate, homes, and other real estate related items.

Now - onto the topic which is being answered by me, Connor MacIvor concerning a person being able to have one home sold and close at the same time they buy another home.

The two in one close

When we have a real estate buyer that is looking to upsize, downsize or relocate to another state or city, and if they have a home they currently have, they mostly want to sell that home, find another one and then have us had negotiated to close both residences at the same time.

This happens day in and day out, but you want to make sure that you have hired a real live, full time, experienced and knowledgable real estate agent to handle the entire process.

First things first, I always start at the beginning. Looking at what type of home and reason for the move that the buyer can explain. Maybe they are looking to upsize, which seems to be most common, getting out of the condo they own and moving into a single family home. They are doing this because their family is expanding.

What now? Developing a Two in One Close gameplan.

Does the homeowner who wants to buy and sell in a single transaction have a place to stay in the interim? Of course, in a perfect world, as would be laid out by contract, both sides would close at the same time. The home they want to sell and the home they want to buy, both closing on the same date and time - where all keys are exchanged between all parties at 5 pm!

That is what would be shot for, but things do come up and people do have their own minds. Although all parties to the transaction agreed in contact, by signing. It could be that 5 levels away a home seller is not able to be out of their home until 7 pm. The movers arrived late. That could delay the 4 other levels of the transaction and you too!  The thing that you need to remember is to not break down. Don't panic, all will work out, eventually. Just know that it's a possibility that things don't go as planned.

Let me explain the 5 levels deep thing. If you want to sell your home contingent on you finding another home of your choice and closing that at the same time your buyers close on yours, great. What if your home buyers have a home they are needing to sell and close concurrently? What if those people who are buying your buyers home have to sell a home in order to buy theirs? The deal can extend deep into many different levels, like links on a chain.

The security of the entire house of cards is dependent on the weakest link.

While I make it my business for my Santa Clarita real estate sellers and real estate buyers to ensure all parties are keeping up with their end of the transaction, things happen.

One day I could call to the third level - the buyer's agent for the buyers that are buying your buyer's home and check in. They may say that all is great. I then want to follow up with those buyers lender. Their lender tells me they are waiting on a verification of employment to be submitted with a new date. Let's say that the accounting department of where that buyer works is on vacation. (meaning, only one person works in that department because the company is that small). It's going to take a creative person, like me, to find out who handles this type of business when the only person assigned to the accounting department in on vacation.

Even with all the follow up that happens, even with all the attention being paid on each of those links, sometimes things go awry and deals fall apart due to unforeseen issues. Like Death, believe it or not - Death seems to stop a multiple level real estate transaction cold.

HomeBuyer Expert | Equity and Financing

After I bring you up to speed on how the entire "contingent" thing works in real estate, it's now to do some pencil and pad work.

We will want to explore how much your home is worth and after paying the fee's to sell your home how much will you be left with and what are you going to do with the proceeds?

Most people re-invest it into their next home, the home they are buying. Some take some of those proceeds from the equity that has been earned on their present property and pay off bills. Others of our clients use that money to buy stuff. Like RV's, Toys and other items that depreciate horribly.

It's your money and you can do with it what you want. Just make sure you are checking with your Tax Person to see if there may be any negative implications of investing that equity into something other than the next home we are assisting you in buying.

After we pencil out the money left after selling your home at a particular price, you will need to speak with a lender. That lender is going to come from someone you know, who was referred to you or from us. The reason why a lender that we work with will hold an advantage to you is that we know and vet them and have worked with them in the past. Our clients swear by them and we ensure they are doing their due diligence at all turns within the real estate transaction.

At the end of the day, however, you can work with who you want. I just want you to have the best deal and the best service.

The real estate lender will then tell you how much you should be looking for in the next home, related to price, HOA fees and potential extra property taxes in the form of Mello Roos.

Of course, some don't like HOA's - and most don't like the Mello Roos Taxes - I will be able to search for you for homes that don't have those fee's or at least are very reasonable in cost.

Once that number is established and if I'm able to provide to your homes and current real estate listings that fit your criteria, we are off and running.

Getting your home under contract and dispatching a professional photographer is the very next step. Once that happens, while I'm pre-marketing the photographs are being taken and supplied to me, I'm building the online systems that will be shared with the online syndication websites and systems. I ensure that everything is as I want it before hitting the "release to the world" button.

Sitting and waiting...

The right place to be is waiting until you have an accepted offer on the home you are having us sell for you before looking seriously at homes to buy.

The reason is if you find "the one" and want to write an offer without having your own home in escrow, the seller will turn you down cold.

Even with all of the documentation that I would present showing that your home is advertised through the roof and that we are priced perfectly, still, I would not let my sellers accept an offer from a home buyer that has a contingent home for sale and not in escrow.

While the buyer's home or your home is priced within comp range, there may be other reasons that an adjustment in price won't fix. Maybe your home is upgraded not to the majority's liking? Maybe your home is priced right within comp range but is located off of the beaten path?

Wait we must. You can search online, you will get listings that I send you, but until your home is in escrow, we must wait. Of course, if you want to view homes in order to get me "dialed in" as far as knowing what type of home with what type of upgrades you want, that works for me.

To write an offer before your home is in escrow will be to do so in vain.

Open the flood gates - time to start moving...

We have your home in escrow with a home buyer. We have negotiated a certain amount of time it will take for you to find your home of choice. If that time frame is exceeded, then you don't sell your home and your life continues.

If the home buyer is not dismayed, I may be able to convince them to wait longer to allow you for more time to search for your home of choice.

It happens and contingent transactions in real estate work out day in and day out. Contingent means that the sale of one home is contingent on the purchase of another.

If one does not happen, then the other cannot occur.

The most important thing is to protect the contingent party via agreements and counters that are submitted while we are getting the deal put together.

I don't want my seller's feeling pressured and the same goes for my home buyers, being pressured is horrible and sometimes mistakes are made. I cannot allow for that to happen under my watch.

Home Sellers do accept contingent offers. Some new home builders also accept contingent offers. All will depend on the activity with their home that is being sold and if someone who is "not contingent" wants to buy it.

Most home sellers will accept a noncontingent offer (an offer where the buyer has no home to sell) over one where the buyer has a home to sell, even if their home is in escrow.

Yes you can sell and buy a home at the same time

I will be here when you are ready to have your real estate won and not just done. Having the local consummate real estate expert for both buyers and sellers in the Santa Clarita Valley is super important.

Remember to save me in your phone so that if you or anyone you run into having any real estate needs in the State of California, I'm just a phone call or text message away from being able to help you or them.

Connor MacIvor - Real Estate - Realtor


I have been representing both buyers and sellers in Santa Clarita real estate since 1998 and I will be there for you also. Be wary of the real estate syndication websites. Be careful to whom you give up any and all of your personal information when it comes to online real estate inquiries. is my home system for Southern California, It is protected and secured. Any and all information exchanged on that site is only seen by me and I'm already on your phone. :) - Talk soon - Connor with HONOR

July 1, 2019

HomeBuyer Experts | What home can I afford?

HomeBuyer Expert - What home can I afford?

Welcome to another top question that comes from us often from those who are looking for the local real estate expert. Wanting to ensure that they are helped directly and not placed onto a lead generation list.

As a home buyer, you may have searched on Zillow, Trulia and on the other real estate syndication websites. All is good in the world until you give up who you are. Your name, or email address, and or phone number - those personal items will have your phone and email blowing up.

Your personal information will be sold to many real estate agents, big box stores, home improvement warehouses and made part of databases everywhere. There is money in your info, you don't get any of it though, you just get annoyed.

This homebuyer expert is local to Santa Clarita Valley CA. I serve my real estate clients needs in the Los Angeles Metro area, plus Santa Clarita and elsewhere, depending on my being able to provide a knowledgeable foundation for my home buyers.

Before I get into the question that most buyers have of "What home can I afford", I will take you on a bit of a journey that will assist you with the buying of Santa Clarita real estate.

There are two different real estate systems for a home search. You have the multiple listing service - MLS, and you have the real estate syndication websites. By Syndication Websites, I'm meaning those who are monetizing your personal information.

Some will do this at any cost. They will fight tooth and nail, built up mediocre real estate information and listings in order to get you to give up who you are. Don't do it at any cost.

Go to a local website - go to my website - and do your home search there. It's my site, It's encrypted and I am the only person who sees who you are.

Furthermore - don't sign anything when visiting open houses. Don't give up any of your personal info, name, email or phone when visiting a new house or new home builder community. Even if they hand you an iPad as you make it through the door, don't you dare give up who you are in any way. By doing so you give up your FREE right to have your own agent on your side throughout the entire new home buying process. And negotiation? You don't have a top agent versed with expertise in buying new homes and the "right ways" to negotiate so you get your best deal!

My business is to represent you as a home buyer. I want to keep you safe and protected throughout the process. Join with the others that have used me, Connor T. MacIvor to buy homes and real estate. I promise to be there for you.

Home Buyer Experts | What home can I afford?

This is going to depend on a number of factors.

In the beginning, I will have you speak with a real estate lender who is located close to the city of your interest. If you are wanting to buy a home in Valencia, then I will have a lender that operates, has a good reputation and operates in that area. The second thing after contact is made with the Valencia home broker, you will be asked for all sorts of personal information and documentation to finish up your pre-approval.

It does not happen by chance. Back in the day lenders may pre-approve over the phone - but that was more of a pre-qualification. That process was without any verification related to employment and salary. Tax returns were not looked at either at that point.

You will want to get a strong approval. You want to ask the right questions and find out what your payment will be at your approved amount.

It could be that the amount the real estate lender approves you for is outside of your comfort zone. Then ask them to scale it down a bit and re-evaluate that your payment will be at a lower amount.

After you get that number dialed in, you are going to want to check with your lender whether or not they factored in any homeowners association fee. If they did factor in a $100.00 a month HOA fee, then that is what you have to work with. Look on to see that those HOA Fee's are to see if you are in the right place.

The lender may say you are qualified for $500,000.00. They will tell you that will either include or not include a $_____.__ HOA fee and maybe supplemental taxes like mello roos.

After you get that payment amount, you can then adjust for the HOA and mello roos, if necessary.

Once you get the "payment" at your comfort amount and with the additional fee's, if they exist, you are now good to go to start having me start looking for the perfect home/condo/town-home for you and yours.

Other costs besides your mortgage payment

It's going to depend on your lender and the structure of your loan if some of the other "fees" per month or year are included in your payment or are things that have to be paid separately. Those two need to be factored in so you are not surprised.

If you are going to be using a loan program of either the FHA or VA variety, it will be that your taxes and home insurance will be impounded.

Impounded means "will be included".

Therefore, your payment each month to pay your mortgage will include your principal, the interest, the taxes, and the home insurance.  There are a lot of my home buyers that like it this way. This is because they don't have to worry about making any additional payments throughout the year, twice a year for the property taxes and once a year to the home insurance company.

Homes and houses will also need maintenance fee and re-occurring work amounts to be allowed for. These items are going to be things like having a gardener, pest control people and pool service person.

Some times these amounts can be an additional $300.00 a month or more. Depending on whom you hire and the cost of the services they provide for your home.

You may not be able to make your payment at max finance approval

When you go do a lender that we are sending you to, they will give you your maximum number. One of the things I have my clients do is to ask for another approval amount with payment schedule at $50,000.00 to $100,000.00 less than the maximum number.

This gives our homebuyers an idea of how much those payment amounts differ when it comes to approaching homes that are for sale.

It may be that the lender's max is nowhere close to where you will be comfortable in making a monthly mortgage payment.

They don't just throw out arbitrary numbers. The good lender's approval is something that has been vetted by multiple entities within the lender's organization.

When they tell you that you are qualified at 1/2 a million, $500,000.00 dollars, they have looked very closely at what you make, that you spend and your debt to income ratio (DTI).

They have also included what you are paying out in taxes and also what your taxable income after write-offs happens to be.

It's complicated and accurate.

However, be that as it may, you may not like the look of that payment because you love eating sushi 4 times a month or love your Disneyland Dates!

No worries, have the lender adjust the amount on the home you are going to have me search for to something more reasonable and comfortable for you.

Do me a favor. Don't make yourselves mortgage poor. Don't overspend when it comes to buying real estate. It will make you hate your home, I promise.

Figuring out where to live and the type of home you will buy

In this section from the Santa Clarita Home Buyer Experts, you want to consider those who are close to you, those that will be making the move with you.

If you are alone and will be moving all by yourself, there may be less to consider. However, maybe you like being close to areas of commerce, restaurants, entertainment centers, churches - etc. - then you are going to want to ask us about the residences closest to those areas which you like and wish to walk to.

I have an awesome search engine for Santa Clarita and Southern California homes and real estate for sale located at - use it and you can find some of those areas that you will love.

The best way is always to ask me directly so I can show you those homes that fit best.

If you have some others in tow - elderly, kids, etc - you are going to want to think of other local options. If you are caring for elderly parents, considering where their doctor and the hospital is located in proximity to the home you are buying will be a must. Thinking about what pharmacy you are going to be frequenting will be equally important.

The style of home, maybe something with a full downstairs bedroom and bathroom will also be necessary to save the knees and keep them with their self-respect.

If kids are part of the move, and if those kids are not going to be working age soon, maybe you want to check out the schools in close proximity. Just ask me and I will direct you to the best location online to research schools to see if they have high marks or not.

You may be someone that doesn't mind if their kids walk to school. If that is the case, you will want to have me search for a home that is close to safe Valencia CA paseo system or is located where the kids will be walking in large numbers to keep safe.

Special Needs, Children and the elderly, all those will be part of your consideration when wanting to buy a home and I will help you throughout the process.

Think 5 years in the future

When buying a home, stepping back and considering what your life may look like 5 years in the future may be prudent. We often have our clients do this and if part of their "future desires" is starting a family, buying the home now that will conform to that is definitely an option.

Consider the best ways in which you can choose wisely. We always approach our expert Santa Clarita buyer representation business by asking the "future questions".

Will the home that they are buying appreciate well in value? Does the area have any issues that will prohibit optimum growth? Are there great reasons to buy in this particular neighborhood - like blue ribbon schools, close proximity to higher valued homes, close to centers of entertainment and or freeway access - etc?

First time or expert play investor

When we have our sit down talk with any home buyer that is coming to us to make the decisions about buying real estate, I always explain to them to approach everything as if they were the best real estate investor.

For example, in our Santa Clarita housing market, buying a three bedroom is more advantageous than buying a two bedroom. The cost is not prohibitive and the return on investment (ROI) is much better all around.

For example, if the home is a three bedroom and is going to be rented as a future investment property, the three bedrooms will bring substantially more income than a two bedroom would.

If the home in question is going to held to sell, the three bedrooms will appreciate much better than a two bedroom home. It makes the higher mortgage amount worth the struggle in the beginning.

A couple of other items that I check, for fun and because I love my job, is what are the current rents going for in the neighborhood? Not that the home buyers are buying to rent it out - they are buying to live there. But now they have a baseline and can see how much of their mortgage will be covered as well as the other "costs" of owning the home.

This is the bottom line. If you are buying a home in the Santa Clarita Valley, save my number in your cell phone as your Realtor / Real Estate agent.

Program now:

Connor Macivor - Realtor - Real Estate - Agent


That way if you have anyone who wants to buy or sell a home, if you are ready and want to buy or sell real estate, I'm already in your phone just a couple of buttons away from being on your side 100% throughout any real estate endeavor.

I'm Connor with HONOR and I am here to be your local Home Buyer Expert. Save my info and I'll be there for you 100%. As I have been for thousands of others in Santa Clarita and Surrounding areas.

June 30, 2019

Strategies for First time home buyers with closing costs and lender fees episode 2019-181

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On this weekend edition of the California real estate radio show we were able to cover some buyer strategies concerning lender fees and closing cost coverage. How do you really know as a home buyer if you are getting the best deal on a home loan? What about getting your closing costs paid, they exist for every single home buyer, but did you know you may be able to have them covered?

I'm Connor with HONOR MacIvor and I have been representing home buyers and sellers since 1998. During that time I have been fortunate to have seen home buyers and sellers at their best and at their worst. At the end of the day, my mission is clear. No matter which side of the transaction I'm on, I have to be equitable, fair and honest in all my dealings with all parties.

Program my phone number into your phone for any and all future real estate needs and referrals - Connor MacIvor - Realtor - Real Estate (if you format it like this I come up easily in a search with your mobile phone. My direct contact number for Santa Clarita real estate is: 661.400.1720

Here is the transcription from today's real estate radio show for California housing and real estate. I have an extensive referral network for California. I'm personally located in the Los Angeles Metro areas - when ready refer your friends/family and I'll take great care of them as I would take care of you.

California real estate radio show transcription

Connor Macivor: (00:00)
Good day everybody. Welcome to the weekend of dish and I've housing I'm your host, Conor Mac Iver, remax realtor headquartered in Santa Clarita Valley. You can get to our website and listen to past real estate radio shows by going to housing that's housing You'll be able to see all of the past episodes that we've done long time and you'll be able to see where we are currently in the real estate market. Welcome to Sunday all southern California cities. They're reporting in 16,394 real estate listings, all total for sale. We have real estate and escrow under contract and pending and all of southern California 6,767 looking into all the Santa Clarita Valley, we are looking at 676 this is an uptick from where we were in the fives, even low fives until about April, may of this year. That additional inventory is indicative of all of the State of California besides you know, particular areas.

Connor Macivor: (01:05)
Beverly Hills, HOMVEE Hills, the platinum triangle over there, you're going to see a lot more restricted releases of listings, just not that much for sale, keeping those prices ultra high, but moving into the other areas of southern California, that Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, even up in Sacramento, we're seeing a lessening of real estate listings and moving up north, uh, San Francisco, not so much. So you can kind of see how the market changes a bit depending on where you're going here in southern California. Now just real quick before I get into today's real estate radio show, and there would be two important topics I want to talk about, how to get your best deal on a home loan and talking about getting closing costs paid for yourself prior to getting into that. I'm Connor McCarver and I do want to talk a little bit about what the other avenues are we have for real estate procurement and search to assist both your real estate buyers and sellers out there.

Connor Macivor: (01:56)
And also just a little bit about the market. Now if you've got a SCV, s C v B l o, you'll be able to see our main blog site and there you're going to see a lot of articles. You're going to be able to search by index on the right hand side of the page. You also see our radio show players who can listen to past episodes. So there you'll be able to find almost everything you've ever wanted to know about real estate. The nice thing about that system is yours truly is written. All of those articles, we don't do affiliates. We don't allow other people to write articles for us. We don't steal information articles from other sites. This is all from yours truly, Connor McGuyver. So you don't have to be concerned about trying to be gamed or having somebody tell you something that isn't true in order to elicit some kind of a selfish response for the person that's putting out that bad information.

Connor Macivor: (02:46)
For example, stating that now is the best time in the world to buy. We're, we're a great prices and so on. Trying to get you to say, okay, well now's a good time to buy. We don't answer those questions that way because ultimately it might not be a good fit for you to buy right now. Maybe here in the near future, if we have an election change, presidential change, maybe that's going to impact the market. You have to look at those in the guise of historical data. What's happened in the past. You have to look at kind of real estate offsetting the stock market. The stock market becomes a little weak. Real estate becomes stronger, vice versa. People want those more tangible assets, those things they can hold on to. And when they go out there and they're looking at the stock market where they have all their money, they've been doing very well, uh, since the election, of course that's gone through the roof.

Connor Macivor: (03:35)
However, what happens if that, uh, if that power shifts, what happens to the stock market? We'll have to see, we'll have to play that out. But currently right now most of the loans out there are 30 year fixed. This is what I believe in and love a 30 year fixed loan, uh, adjustable rate mortgages are coming back. But don't forget those arms, those adjustable rate mortgages got some people into trouble back before the last fall of the real estate cycle, you had people that were using subprime loans, which means their credit wasn't as good as somebody getting prime money, which is better. But they were getting these and then they were being offered adjustable rate mortgages. So now their interest rate is even lower than the prime borrower. The person in great standing better than them. Then what happened? Well, the real estate market started to fold in on itself and a lot of those arms, those people that had those could not do that mandatory refinance depending on the terms of that loan.

Connor Macivor: (04:34)
So it became really difficult and they didn't have any choice but to walk away from their home or have it sold short via a short sale. The loan program you get, we tell our clients, if you're gonna afford this payment and that's where you're going to be, you're in a 30 year fixed loan, good for you. And if you're not, depending on over time, you're not depending on future raises. That's smart and that way you'll be able to stay here for as long as it takes you start out growing the home. Then hopefully the market will have shifted that provides you with more equity, you'll be able to use that equity to move up into a larger home. But again that payment is super important and you want to look at the factors involved in your payment and your monthly expenses that have the ability to change.

Connor Macivor: (05:20)
I'll give an example before I get into our tips and tricks today with regard to getting your best deal on a home loan and also closing costs. Couple of things to watch out for are going to be these. If you have a homeowners association, I know people all, I don't want to homeowners. The thing is about a homeowners that's a good enforcement mechanism depending on where you live. Some of them are overbearing and ridiculous and it's really difficult to live in some of the areas that have hos others are bad. And what they can do is they can assist you with issues that occur in your neighborhood. For example, if there's rule with the Hoa that you're not able to park a large recreational vehicle in front of a house for more than a day or two days to prep it, then there's your enforcement mechanism probably faster than calling local law enforcement, depending on where you live.

Connor Macivor: (06:13)
So these are some things if your neighbor, if there are particular, uh, ways the houses have to look, maybe it's some kind of a theme. Maybe it's a lake theme. For example, like we have Bridgeport out here in Valencia. If somebody went in and painted their house, the exterior orange and black, the homeowners association would go after them. So there's another positive reason, the negative reasons. Well, you have to see for yourself, there are some that go up. So if you have a particular homeowner's association of $100 a month, you want to find out historically, if that's increased, has that gone up in the past? Heck, if you find out that maybe it was $20 only a couple months ago, now it's a hundred it's going to go up another hundred you want to find out that before you purchase, right? So those are questions to ask. You're gonna want to ask your agent.

Connor Macivor: (07:04)
You're working with us. We find out that information because it's really, really important. All right, let's talk about getting your best deal on a home loan. Now, I'm not a lender, I'm a realtor. I'm your realtor. I want to be, I am representative here in Santa Clarita, greater Los Angeles areas. So I have licensed, we'll travel if we get too far from where I'm comfortable because I need to know about their real estate. Wherever I'm representing a client, I want to, I need to have a professional working knowledge of the particular area and the housing they're in. If that exceeds my scope and my knowledge, then I have an awesome referral network. So I really am for all of California, one stop shop, California real estate, California real estate, you can go there and there's ways to send clients to us, refer clients to us and I will of course be very grateful.

Connor Macivor: (07:56)
Now with regard to home loan, that's part of the process. You'll see some agents out there that are doing both. They're playing real estate agent and they're playing lender. That's completely legal, not my thing. In fact, I want to do one thing good and that's being a buyer and seller representative. That's what I do. I'm able to watch the lending part. I'm able to make sure the lender isn't gouging any of my clients. I can watch the lender and look at all their documents and make sure that you know they're not out of line with anything. That's very, very important if you're a protector as I am. Now on the other side of it, whenever you're talking to a lender, a couple things to note. There are a few different types. You got mainline banks, they pretty much borrow their own money. You've got credit unions, same thing. They pretty much borrow their own money. You have mortgage brokers. My Dad, when I was growing up would have said, son, stay away from those I, you know what? I don't agree with that anymore, Dad, please dad. But I don't agree with that anymore. Here's the thing with regard to mortgage brokers, they get to pull on 200 plus sources of money. A lot of times they're going to be a better deal than credit unions and mainline banks. You just have to see, test the waters on a couple.

Speaker 2: (09:03)

Connor Macivor: (09:04)
and no freak out about people pulling your credit if it's regarding mortgages multiple times. The reason why that's not a big deal is the fact that at the very end of it, there is a method in place that they're able to do something called a rapid rescore and they would be able to make it so your credit profile is returned to the final score was before. When we're talking about rapid rescore, let me just cover that just a little bit. Sorry for the quick break. So we're talking about rapid rescore that actually works when you're talking mortgage inquiries, mortgage inquiries, you're comparing those two things. You have to be weary. If you're doing mortgage inquiries and you're going to Bank of America and you're going to your credit union at some point it would be kind of cool for you to get copies of that credit report that they're pulling.

Connor Macivor: (09:58)
They might tell you that their terms of service or their agreement that they have with the entity that pulls all three bureaus and gives them these complete mortgage approved copies of credit reports aren't for your consumption, but I've found that's a lot of, that's a window dressing. So push. Now, if you go out there and you go to Nissan or Mercedes or Chevy and you have them also pull your credit because you're considering purchasing a car, you'll shoot yourself in the foot. Same thing in a mortgage. Here's a tip for you. When you're in escrow, don't get happy and don't go out there and finance and try to get a William Sonoma credit card or pottery barn credit card or Bob's furniture credit card or whatever. Stay away from changing anything in your credit profile. That includes even paying things off and unless you talk to your lender and then after you talk to your lender about, hey, I want to apply for this Williams-Sonoma credit card, it's going to give me a $10,000 limit.

Connor Macivor: (11:04)
If they say, oh, that's okay, go ahead and do it. Then you need to send an email to that lender before you apply and say, Hey, Carl, I'm just making sure I understood correctly over the telephone when you said, go ahead and apply for the Williamson Oma credit card. Now that's going to give me a $10,000 limit. Please man, follow up with your lender. Ask them these questions. All right, so getting your best deal on a home loan. It's important you know the players that covered that. It's also important that you ask them for a good faith estimate. Now, they can't tell you today what's your interest rates going to be a month from now. They're not able to do that, but they can at least give you a sheet sewing. If you were to buy today and the house was $500,000 and it did have a $70 a month Hoa and it did carry maybe 0.5% tax in Mello Roos that says special assessment tax, what does that look like?

Connor Macivor: (12:03)
What's that down payment look like? What's the pain that looked like? What are the fees you're going to charge me? What are those look like? How much is it going to cost to get this? What's my interest rate today going to be not bad, right? So there's your good faith estimate and you can use that against other lenders that you're interviewing. Say, Hey, I got this year, but can you beat it? Be Wary though. There are a lot of teasers out there that like to throw around pillow talk. Like it's nobody's business. So if your agent is referring you to a lender, not a bad idea because your agent has the ability to enforce certain things because they give the lender business. So the lenders should be taking care of all their clients are, they're going to move somewhere else. Ask any agent moving up. Move Long.

Connor Macivor: (12:53)
I'll, I'll disappear overnight. I'm not prepared to have a lender treat my clients badly or take advantage of anybody. So any lender I refer, it's going to be a lender that I've vetted. I've used time and time out and so of my clients, but at the end of the day, if I get feedback that they're horrible or if I see charges that aren't making sense as has happened in the past, all done folks finished Finney, Tay, is that a thing? Anyway, I will get done with that lender and we'll move on. The best of the best of the best that are out there. We have some great ones here in Santa Clarita Valley. We have great ones all over the state of California. Again, be wary of those zero three o'clock in the morning infomercials that are telling you about how great these lenders are. Watch out and also if they're telling you to take more money, pull more equity out of your house because you're a veteran to help you pay off bills.

Connor Macivor: (13:50)
Be Wary. I, I think if you were to be real with yourself and you were to go to somebody, you really trust. You know, like if you had a rich dad out there or whatever and say, you know, this is what I want to do, it'd probably say no. Try to pay off those bills some other way because now you're playing with where you're living. Again, look at the intention behind it. Do they really want to help you? Do they really want to help you pay off bills and credit cards by loaning you the a hundred percent of what your home's worth because you're a veteran? Or are they doing it because they make money and they really don't care about you paying off your bills? In fact, they're hoping you go out there and finance a brand new Chevy, a Cadillac, Eldorado or whatever. Anyway, watch out for that.

Connor Macivor: (14:37)
So there's how to get your best deal. Look at that. Good faith estimate. Compare a couple, don't have anybody make you sign anything that promises your allegiance to them and all that horse crap moving over. The other thing, closing costs. Whenever you're buying a house, you don't pay your agent. So I'm representing you in real estate. I'm your representative, be it a new housing, resale, housing, whatever, and you and I are going out. We're looking at houses. I don't cost you a thing, I don't cost you anything. I'm zero cost to you. Your closing costs, the things you have to pay to buy a house in it. Plus, okay, what the house costs are going to be a few things. You've got your part of title insurance, you're part of escrow fee and your lender. Three things. Well, I'd be pay it. Well, you can have it built into the price of the house.

Connor Macivor: (15:35)
Maybe if the seller agree simple numbers. If your closing costs are $3,000 in $100,000 purchase a thousand to the lender, a thousand to the title company for your part and the thousand to the escrow company for your part $3,000 and the property is a pretty good deal at a hundred grand, you might be able to offer $103,000 and ask the seller to allow you to finance the closing costs and they just throw it at the seller will pay a celebrity not going to pay it. In that regard, the seller's not paying it. You're basically giving them the money so you can finance into your total costs as far as the mortgage goes. Yeah, that works, right? It's, I'd rather have $3,000 and be able to finance the closing costs if I could and keep my money, my liquid money in the bank. But again, that's who I am. Another way to do it, and maybe the seller is only willing to cover half, so you go up $1,500 and then you pay $1,500 out of pocket.

Connor Macivor: (16:31)
So you have to finance 1500 and so on. There's a lot of ways to do it, and you can also write a check. You can put that money into escrow and pay him that way. If the house might be a little overpriced, you could offer them the full price and ask for $3,000 back and closing costs. So now you're still financing $100,000 but now the seller's netting $97,000 right? Minus 303 $3,000 so that's how closing costs work. Again, if you're a seller, now on the other side, your closing costs don't include the lender fee. If you're selling a house, you don't have a lender involved in that transaction, but you do have agents. So they're going to be both sides. The agent represented the buyer and the agent representing the seller. So that's going to be your price of admission, plus your escrow plusher title, which are more expensive than a buyer's closing costs.

Connor Macivor: (17:25)
You're covering both ends of it. And of course, don't forget negotiation as part of every process. So don't be scared to ask, you know, folks, life lesson to you, no matter where you go, Ya know, hey, do you have any coupons? What do you got going? Every time we go I go shopping, I'll go to the register and I'll ask him, Hey, do you have any coupons in there? Maybe something I didn't get in the mail. Maybe something the mail man forgot to bring. Maybe something you sent out last week. Something I don't have access to. Do you have anything like that? You'd be surprised. It's a shock to me how long I should have been doing this because they'll say, oh yeah, yeah, we go run it here. And they scan it and they get 25% off. Like whoa. And that's a lot of places.

Connor Macivor: (18:04)
Maybe not your Walmarts, maybe not your Kmarts and they're all about the disc if there is a Kmart anymore, but they're all about the discount anyway, so that's going to be tough. But you're going to, Nordstrom's may see Sachs, you're going to these, these higher end department stores. Even Sears Montgomery wards in the thing. Sears, you know, they might have something there that they did in their last mailing that you might've missed out on. Maybe the postman didn't bring it. And if you don't have it, maybe the post, man, I didn't bring it. So it's okay to say that may, maybe the postman didn't bring it. Do you have any coupons back there folks? Ass Go to, you know, you're gonna get your oil changed, your tires going to go to the dentist. You got to go to the doctor. It's worth asking because if you don't ask, you're not going to get.

Connor Macivor: (18:48)
So might as well say, hey do you uh, you know, instead of a 5,500 $5,700 to get my teeth done, cause I have all this work. In fact, this is true. I said, how about 4,000? Huh? I can't do that. All right, how about 4,500? So we just go back and forth though. It took a few minutes, but I saved $700 $700 that had to be paid out of my pocket. So now I have an extra $700 because what? Because I asked. It's okay to ask. I'm counting macgyver housing, local agent. I'm here to refer. I'm here to represent. Just let me know where you are. We'll find it. If it's within my comfort zone, be happy to be there for you and I will take charge like a beast. I'm counter macgyver. Be Safe, always watching out for my clients, protecting and serving their real estate needs. Please share with a friend. You know, anybody in California wanting to make any real estate moves referring to me and I will make sure they get the best treatment and best representation possible condom with honor. We'll talk to you soon over now. Okay.

When you are ready I will be there for you regarding your Santa Clarita and other Southern California real estate needs. Your friends and family swear by our team that has been representing both buyers and sellers of real estate since 1998. Program me into your phone as your speed dial real estate agent in California. Connor MacIvor - real estate - realtor my direct cellular phone is 661.400.1720