Quickly Raise Your Credit Score!

One of the common objections I hear from prospective real estate buyers today is that they will buy when their credit score improves. Before I tell you how to improve it, I want to let you know that a credit score in the 500-700 range is not a big deal. I’ve never met anyone with a perfect 850 score and the requirement to get approved here in Los Angeles is a 680 FICO.  Here are a few things I advised my clients to do during my time as a mortgage broker:

Obtain your credit report using Credit Karma – I’d like to mention here that I was not paid to refer them. I recommend Credit Karma because they are a free service that gives you a thorough overview of all 3 of your credit scores (Experian, Transunion, and Equifax) and can offer tips on how to improve them. You can’t know how to fix the problem until you find out what you’re dealing with.

Search your credit report for unpaid bills and pay them – Did you move 3 years ago and forget to return your cable box?  This happened to me and my case was sent to a collections agency that kept a “ding” on my credit until I paid them back.  I know I can’t be the only one that has dealt with this issue.  Sometimes, paying a $50 bill can raise your credit 20 points.  Worth it? I think so.

Increase your credit line and don’t buy anything – It’s easy to say “just pay off your credit cards” but I know that isn’t easy.  What can be easier, however, is contacting your credit card company and asking them for a credit line increase.  Credit bureaus put a large emphasis on how large your credit line is and how much you’ve used.  If your percentage of used credit goes from 95% to 75%, you’ll see a major boost to your score.

Thanks for reading, and again, don’t worry about a low credit score!  It can be fixed!

3 Ways to Get Your Offer Accepted in a Competitive Market

Anyone that has been looking for a home in Southern California will tell you that you will face STIFF COMPETITION once you’ve found your dream home.  The average home listed in Los Angeles has 10-15 OFFERS…what sets your offer apart?  Here are 3 tips to help you get into escrow:

  1. FIND WHAT IS MOTIVATING YOUR SELLER TO SELL. Do they need to move in 30 days? Great! Make a 30 day escrow part of your offer.  If they don’t need to move for 3 months, offer them a sale-leaseback.  If they really like their fridge, let them have it! A good local agent should be familiar with the listing agent and be able to get this information for you.
  2. WRITE A PERSONAL NOTE TO THE SELLER WITH A PICTURE.  Put yourself in the seller’s shoes…most homeowners know their neighbors well and would like their neighbors’ new neighbor (which is YOU!) to be a good person.  Send the seller (through the listing agent) a note telling them about yourselves and your family.  If it’s a great school district, let them know how important that is for your child.  Showing the seller that their home means a lot to you will go a long way.
  3. FIND A LENDER THAT OFFERS AGGRESSIVE TERMS.  Remember what I said about the 30 day escrow? You can’t do that unless your lender can close in 30 days, so you’ll want to have a lender that can close as fast as possible and at great terms for you.  The lenders I work with are willing to release the loan contingency in 14-21 days for pre-qualified buyers.

Thanks for reading! Happy hunting!IMG_5172


What the Interest Rate Hike Means for Your Home’s Value

Hello all! I’m Michael and welcome to my BRAND NEW website! I will be posting news as it breaks about the Real Estate market in this blog, so be sure to subscribe or like me on Facebook as I will share these posts there as well.

That being said, let’s get into it and start talking about a topic that a lot of my clients bring up: how does the interest rate affect the real estate market?  The simple answer is, when interest rates go up, home prices go down.  This is because even the smallest change in interest rates affect the purchasing power of the buyer in the eyes of lending institutions.

Let’s go with an example here: say John and his family of 4 are looking to purchase a home in Los Angeles for $1,000,000.  He wants to put $350,000 as a down payment and finance the $650,000 remaining.  His household brings in $144,000 a year or $12,000 a month.  He’s been pre-approved on the contingency that his  debt-to-income ratio is 25%, so he can spend $3,000 a month on his home.  As you’ll see in the pictures below, a simple .22% difference changes his purchasing power.  As a result, his offer will be lowered by about $15,000, lowering home values in the area due to the affect of comparable properties.

Screen Shot 2017-06-30 at 12.27.17 PMScreen Shot 2017-06-30 at 12.27.34 PM

I hope this post was helpful to you.  Please subscribe to these posts, like me on Facebook, and click the “Contact” link above to get in touch! Thanks.

Click here for your FREE Home Valuation!

–Michael G. Miles