2 Methods of Helping Buyers Compete

Here are two strategies to help buyers find success in our market.

I’m sure that you’ve heard about all the bidding frenzies we’ve seen in our market. Listed homes are currently receiving five, 10, or even more offers apiece. That has left many buyers wondering what they can do to increase their chances of getting their offers accepted and ultimately winning the house. Today I’ll share two methods that I have used to help my buyers secure a property.

Since homes are selling fast, sellers 

will likely need extra time to secure 

a home for themselves.

One way that we help buyers is with an escalation clause. An escalation clause is a section of your contract that states you will pay a certain amount above any other offer but not more than a limit that you set for yourself. For example, if you were in a bidding war and one of your competitors offered $600,000 for a home, you could put a clause in your offer stating that you were willing to pay a certain amount over that offer up to a limit that you set. 

Another way to differentiate your offer from another is to allow the seller to stay in the house for 30 to 60 days while they search for a new home. After all, most sellers in this market are also buyers—since homes are selling fast, they’ll likely need the extra time to secure a home for themselves. 

If you’re interested in buying a home, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I can schedule you a free consultation so you can learn how to navigate the process and ultimately purchase the home you want. Hope to hear from you soon!

Great News for Homebuyers With Recovering Credit

Here’s some key info regarding changes to the lease-to-own program.

When ‘lease to own’ was introduced in 2011, the program sponsor would agree to purchase a home for

up to $600,000 and lease it out to a would-be buyer with bad or recovering credit but a qualifying income.

It was designed for people who had just gone through a bankruptcy, short sale, or foreclosure. 

So long as you had the necessary, dependable income to pay rent each month, you could build up your credit while renting with the goal of eventually buying the house a few years down the line. While the program was good through five years, your obligation to lease was only through one year. In other words, if after one year you didn't like the property or needed to move elsewhere, you could choose not to renew the agreement.

With the new sponsor purchase limit, this 

program is great for single-family 

homes without an HOA. 

This program offered a great deal of flexibility for couples who were ready to settle in an area but didn’t have the passable credit to do so. Generally speaking, it takes most committed individuals about six months to a year to build up their credit enough to qualify for a decent interest rate. With the ability to purchase the leased property extending through five years, the lease-to-own program was great. So why am I bringing it up again? 

Several years ago the sponsor purchase limit was brought down from $600,000 to $350,000, which, as you already know, is nearly impossible here in Southern California. As you can imagine, the practicality and popularity of this program greatly decreased in our area. Thankfully, they’ve recently increased that sponsor purchase limit to $500,000, which has once again created new avenues for a bigger pool of prospective tenants. 

With that new limit, we can find plenty of homes for these buyers-in-progress. In the Lancaster and Palmdale area, for example, you can find a beautiful 2,500-square-foot home with a pool. Fontana and Rialto are on the table, too. 

If you’re as excited about this information as I am, then please don’t hesitate to reach out to me by phone or email for more details and next steps. I’d love to help make the dream of homeownership a reality for you and your family. Let’s get the conversation started today!

What to Know About the Mortgage Credit Certificate

First-time homebuyers should take advantage of this little-known program.

I discussed mortgage credit certificates a few years ago, but now we have so many millennial first-time homebuyers that I thought it was a good idea to remind you about them. Be sure to ask your lender if they’ve been approved by your state and local governments to sponsor you for the MCC. 

So what does the MCC do for you? Suppose that you pay $20,000 in annual interest. With the MCC, Los Angeles County allows a tax credit of up to 20% on that amount. If the credited amount has already been deducted from your paycheck, you’d get a refund back.


Many people who do qualify for the MCC aren’t 

aware it even exists. 

To be eligible for the MCC, your FICO score has to be above 620. For a two-person household, you can earn up to $135,000 and still be eligible. For a three-person household, you can earn up to $153,000. Most first-time buyers in Los Angeles who can afford to buy a home are also eligible for the MCC—that’s great news that you should share with any millennials and first-time buyers you know who are thinking of buying a home. Many people who do qualify for it aren’t aware it even exists. 

If you have any questions about the mortgage credit certificate, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. In the meantime, stay safe!