Friday, February 25, 2011

Banksy Visits Boyle Heights California And His Work Is Saved!

 Ed Torrez
Banksy Kite-2
(Image From His Site)

Ed Torrez
Banksy Kite-2 Found in Boyle Heights, California
(1st Street and Mathews)

Ed Torrez
Banksy Kite-2 Tagged

Ed Torrez
Banksy Kite-2 Saved From Taggers and Graffiti Abatement Crews!


Monday, February 21, 2011

Mortgage Pitfalls to Consider

Getting a mortgage is a complex, time-consuming process that is generally one of the most significant events in one’s life. Because of this, there are several potential pitfalls borrowers should avoid.
  • Applying for new credit and a mortgage simultaneously is never recommended. Anytime a borrower applies for new credit, the borrower is seen as a greater credit risk, at least initially. If the borrower also applies for a credit card or auto loan around the same time as applying for a mortgage, the borrower’s credit score might get dinged enough to increase the interest rate applied to the loan, or disqualify the borrower altogether. Borrowers should first apply for a mortgage, then apply for other consumers loans after the mortgage has been funded.
  • Another mistake some borrowers make is failing to look at the total housing payment. A mortgage payment consists of principal, interest, taxes, and insurance (PITI). Commonly, some prospective home buyers forget to factor in the property taxes and insurance premium into the overall mortgage budget.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Is Real Estate a Good Investment?

The housing market still looks pretty bleak: There were a record 1 million foreclosures last year, home prices are still falling in many regions, and the number of "underwater" properties is at a record high.

And things don't look much better in other areas of real estate. The number of construction jobs continues to decline, even as other parts of the economy have added jobs. And mortgage rates have moved higher as long-term Treasury yields have backed up during the past few months.

Basically, the real estate market remains a mess.

Real estate encompasses a wide range of markets – homes, apartments, hospitals, office buildings, strip malls, dormitories and other properties. But for our purposes, let's focus on residential real estate, or homes. Here are four reasons to think residential real estate might represent a bargain – with one big caveat.

  • Everyone hates homes - When the housing market is in the doldrums, people tend to avoid thinking about the value of their home. Sellers complain they’re not getting offers and buyers bemoan the strict lending requirements. However, prospective buyers should be contrarian and take advantage of a down housing market.
  • Smart people are buying real estate - A prominent hedge-fund manager said in a speech last fall: “If you don’t own a home, buy one. If you own a home, buy another one, and if you own two homes, buy a third and lend your relatives the money to buy a home.” He believes that interest rates and home prices will rise this year, so real estate bargains won’t last much longer.
  • Real estate performs well during inflation – Convention says Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, commodities, and real estate do well in an inflationary environment. Real estate performed well during the period in the 1970s, when persistent inflation and high unemployment occurred.
  • Demand may be coming back - Job creation and getting people employed are the two major factors in the housing rebound. There’s much debate about when the job market will recovery. Optimists say the recovery will happen this year, while pessimists say it won’t happen for several years.
Ladies and Gentelmen after we recover from this housing bust, home prices are expected to settle into a price-growth trend that's slightly higher than inflation over the long term.  So in that sense, housing is still a long-term investment with a positive yield.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Your Credit Score will not be a Secret Any More!

And, you have the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Bill to thank for it.

Starting July 21, 2011, lenders will have to provide you with your credit score if you are turned down for a loan OR are charged a higher rate than the “best” rate they have to offer.

This applies to everyone—mortgage companies, auto dealerships, credit card companies, landlords, insurance agents, utilities—basically anyone who uses a credit score. 

In addition to letting you know your credit score, you will receive an explanation of the range of the score and a graph on how your score compares to other consumer scores.

Here are some tips if you are not happy about your score:
  1. Contact the creditor who sent you your score and ask how many points are needed to get the best rates. If they tell you 15 or 20, it’s fairly easy to get it increased. If it’s 100, you’ve got your work cut out for you.
  2. If you’re planning on requesting credit in the future, order a credit report ahead of time and see what’s on it. The law allows you one free credit report every year --  However, a credit score is NOT included so consider buying your credit score ahead of time
  3. Learn what goes into a credit score and has an educational website with great explanations on what influences credit scores.
If you decide to buy your credit score, be careful NOT to accidently sign up for a credit monitoring service which would be billed to you on a monthly basis. You don’t need that right now—you just need to know your score.

Over 2/3 of consumers haven’t ordered their free credit report in the last 12 months. Even if you aren’t applying for credit—you need to know what’s on your report!