- Chernov Team

Our Real Estate Blog

Mortgage Rates Increase, Mortgage Applications Increase, and Home Values Likely to Increase as Well

Over the last few months, mortgage rates have been increasing; but oddly, we are still seeing an increase in home loan applications. While the 30-year fixed-rate-mortgage (“FRM”) went from 3.69% to 3.75%, this is still lower than last year’s 30-year FRM of 4.94%. Similarly, 15-year FRMs rose from 3.13% to 3.2%. According to Freddie Mac’s chief economist, the increase in mortgage rates represents a society that is becoming less concerned about global insecurity; this is evidenced by the fact that mortgage applications increased by 15% when compared to this.  Generally as mortgage rates go up, loan applications go down, but as of right now that is not tRead Full Post »

Transferring Property? A Brief Primer on Deeds

When you’re transferring ownership of a property you own (in this context, you are the “grantor” and the recipient is the “grantee”) to another person, you are either providing a “quitclaim deed” or a “warranty deed.” A quitclaim says you are giving up all your claims to title, while the latter is an affirmation that you are giving the other person a clean title (if you did not have clean title to give in the first place, a lawsuit will likely follow). More specifically:  

The Housing Market: By the Numbers

We are all aware of the general state of the housing market in Los Angeles: the prices are going up, mortgage rates are going down, and there is a shortage of available houses in relation to the number of buyers in the current market (driving prices even higher). However, the specifics of the housing market can be informative as well.  According to the National Association of Realtors, the statistics paint an interesting picture of the market. The median age of home buyers is 47 (compared to 1981, where the median age was 31), with the median age of first-time home buyers at 33 years old.  Read Full Post »

Strategic Breaches and You

As children, it is drilled into us that we are always supposed to honor our obligations; particularly those we’ve put into a contract. This helps to keep things running smoothly, but is not always optimal; sometimes it is logical to breach an agreement because performing on that agreement will cost you more than the penalties for not complying with your agreement. In contracts, this is known as a strategic breach. Strategic breaches happen in the housing market pretty regularly, and this article will discuss the details of a strategic breach in this context.  Read Full Post »

30-Year FRM Increases .03%; Still a Full Percentage Point Lower Than This Time Last Year

For the last three weeks, mortgage rates have increased despite the fact that the Federal Reserve has reduced interest rates to historic lows in an effort to combat an uncertain global economy (though it looks like the U.S.-China trade talks are making progress on many key issues). This goes to show that general rules are just that – general. Typically, mortgage rates mirror the interest rates set by the fed, but all rules have outer bounds where they are no longer applicable.  During the week of October 31, 2019, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (“FRM”) increased from 3.75% to 3.78% (that’s an increase of $3,0Read Full Post »

Haunted House? Christen it with a Bottle of Nope

Recently, we discussed the case of Stambovsky v. Ackley, and we think it would be prudent to discuss disclosure laws and inspection in the context of the supernatural. Maybe you’re a thrill seeker, in which case you should consider Los Feliz’s Manson home or property in Salem, MA (where the real witch hunts occurred). For the rest of us normal folk, the notion of a poltergeist communicating with our children through television sets and dead relatives returning to life would be a major “con” when buying a houseRead Full Post »

Flipping Houses: Is it a Good Investment Strategy for You?

Perhaps you are a savvy investor, and recognize that the concern over the global market is a passing affair and artificial in nature. You, the next Buffet, believe now is the time to get into the business of flipping houses. Given the low mortgage rates, and your mostly liquid assets (I think we can all agree that right now the market is too volatile to have any significant portion of your wealth tied up there), you believe buying up a few properties to flip once the market returns to full health is the best way to build your estate.  Read Full Post »

Fires in California: Be Prepared

There has been a recent outbreak of fires in California, the Saddle Ridge fire, the Tick fire, the Getty fire, and the Kincade fire. As such, it would be prudent for those who live in Encino, Tarzana, Sherman Oaks, and Studio City to familiarize themselves with what they can do to avoid fires in the first place and what they can do to be prepared for a fire should one erupt in their neighborhood.  As an initial matter, fires move fast; a fire can become life-threatening within 120 seconds, and can turn a home into a blazing inferno inRead Full Post »

Grey Skies Are Gonna’ Clear Up: The C.A.R.’s 2020 Housing Market Forecast

The California Association of Realtors (“CAR”) has released its forecast of the housing market for 2020, and the general conclusion is that while the low rates will help sales in California, the skyrocketing costs of homes paired with the unstable nature of the global economy will work to offset some of that growth.  Specifically, the CAR expects single-family home sales to increase by about .8%, while the median home price is expected to increase by 2.5% ($607k). The fact of the matter is, with historically low interest rates, which are expected to drop to 3.7% in 2020 (at least for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgagRead Full Post »

Haunted Houses and the Law

It’s that time of year again, which means we get to revisit one of our favorite Real Estate cases (not because it’s particularly important, but because it’s particularly funny – and relevant). Today, we discuss Stambovsky v. Ackley. The facts of the case are interesting, and could happen to you! A gentleman from New York City purchased a home in Nyack. Unbeknownst to this New York gentleman, all the people of Nyack understood that this particular house was inhabited by a poltergeist. The previous owner even advertised the houseRead Full Post »

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