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Robert Lei's Blog

By Robert Lei | Agent in 95070
  • Waiting period to buy again after foreclosure or short sale

    Posted Under: Home Buying, Financing, Foreclosure  |  August 25, 2014 9:41 AM  |  10 views  |  No comments

    After a distressed sale, how long is the wait before you qualify for a new mortgage to help you get back to becoming a homeowner?

    a) If you did a short sale for your last house, you normally have to wait for 4 years before you can qualify for a loan to purchase a house again.  However, with Extenuating Circumstance, you might be able to get a loan after 2 years.

    b)    If you let your last house go to foreclosure with a valid hardship, then you still need to wait only 4 years to qualify for a conforming loan to get back to becoming a homeowner.

    c) If you
    let your last house go to foreclosures with no valid hardship (i.e. strategic foreclosure), then for both conforming and non conforming loan, you will need to wait 7 years

    For an FHA loan, you only need to wait 3 years.

  • Trumark Homes' Momentum at Pace in Milpitas

    Posted Under: General Area in Milpitas, Home Buying in Milpitas, In My Neighborhood in Milpitas  |  August 7, 2014 10:22 AM  |  40 views  |  No comments
     

    Trumark Homes' Momentum at Pace in Milpitas

    Trumark Homes' Momentum at Pace in Milpitas offers 2 floor-plans. 

    Click here to see the brochure.

    Page 1 lists the Features and Amenities.  Pages 3-4 show the two floor-plans (which they call "residences"). 

    Both Plans 1 and 2 have tandem garages.

    Both Plans 1 and 2 are more rectangular in shape.

    Both Plans 1and  2 have the master and the 2nd bedroom separated by a laundry room.

    Both Plans 1 and 2 are tri-level.  However, plan 1 has kitchen, great room, and half bath down on the 1st floor, which minimizes the occupants' climbing and descending of stairs.  Plan 2 is organized like a typical tri-level from other home builders in the Bay Area (1st floor has garage, den, guest bedroom, guest bathroom; 2nd floor has kitchen/dining/living rooms; 3rd floor has the remaining bedrooms).

  • Trumark Homes' Velocity at Pace in Milpitas Offers 6 Very Different Floorplans

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Milpitas, In My Neighborhood in Milpitas, Property Q&A in Milpitas  |  August 7, 2014 9:58 AM  |  39 views  |  No comments

    Trumark Homes' Velocity at Pace in Milpitas Offers 6 Very Different Floorplans

    Unlike some other new communities whose floor-plans are all very similar to each other with only minimal tweaks, Trumark Homes' Velocity at Pace in Milpitas offers 6 very different floor-plans. 

    Click here to see the brochure.

    Page 1 lists the Features and Amenities.  Pages 3-8 show the six floor-plans (which they call "residences"). 

    Plans 1, 2, and 5 have tandem garages.
    Plans 3, 4, and 6 have side-by-side garages.

    Plans 1 and 2 are more squarish.
    Plans 3-6 are more rectangular.

    Plan 2 has the master and the 2nd bedroom open right next to each other in case you are a parent who wants to keep close tabs on your kids.

    Plan 6 has only two levels, which is great for people who are tired of seeing tri-level new homes.  Aside from the garage and office and bathroom on the 1st floor, the remaining common rooms (kitchen, dining, living) and bedrooms/bathrooms (master, 2nd) are all on the 2nd floor, which minimizes the occupants' climbing and descending of stairs.
  • Wiring Money from Overseas Bank Account vs. Opening a US Bank Account to Gift Money to Kids

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Santa Clara County, Home Selling in Santa Clara County, Financing in Santa Clara County  |  July 18, 2014 6:02 PM  |  50 views  |  No comments

    From a Gift Tax perspective, it is better for parents to wire money directly from their foreign bank account to their kids in the United States. 

    Some parents who live overseas make the mistake of opening a bank account in the United States for the purpose of transferring money to their kids in the United States.  However, that opening a US account and paying from that US account to their kids, makes them have to Pay a gift tax in the United States.

    Going back to the first method, if the parents fund transfers take place overseas, then the buyers will not have to pay gift tax.

    For full details, check the 3520 gift report form "


     










    Annual Return To Report Transactions With Foreign Trusts and Receipt of Certain Foreign Gifts
     
     
    :

    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f3520.pdf

    Per bank social, you are allowed $100k per year.

    If the buyers are buying the property for investment (rather than to live in themselves), then gifts will not be allowed.

    Disclaimer: I am not a tax professional.  Please contact your tax professional for full details.

  • How do you determine whether a property is a condo (i.e. has condo ownership) or is in a Planned Unit Development (aka PUD owne

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Santa Clara County, Property Q&A in Santa Clara County, Investment Properties in Santa Clara County  |  July 18, 2014 5:41 PM  |  54 views  |  No comments
    Question: How do you determine whether a property is a condo (i.e. has condo ownership) or is part of a Planned Unit Development (aka PUD ownership)?
     
    Answer: Check the Preliminary Title Report.   The Prelim Page#1 Item#1 To help determine whether the property is a Condo or pud from prelim page1.

    If Item #1 says "A Condo", then it's a condo.
    If Item #1 says "A Fee", then most likely the property is in a PUD.

    Check out Page4 of the preliminary title report: 
    If you see HOA and dues, then the property is part of a PUD because the owners pay a maintenance fee.

    Divided interest in your unit plus undivided interest in the common areas.

    Condos have undivided interest in the entire complex.

    Different lenders charge different fees for different types of ownership. 
  • City of Saratoga Second Dwelling Units

    Posted Under: General Area in Saratoga, Remodel & Renovate in Saratoga, In My Neighborhood in Saratoga  |  July 17, 2014 3:53 AM  |  56 views  |  No comments

    Second dwelling units in single-family districts must comply with state law and help achieve the goals and policies of the Housing Element of the Saratoga General Plan.

    Only ONE second dwelling unit shall be allowed on any one site.

    Except as otherwise provided in Section 15-56.050 Legalization of existing second dwelling units, each second dwelling unit shall comply with all of the following development standards:

    a) Lot size.  The net site area shall not be less than the minimum standard prescribed. 
    b) Unit size. The unit shall be at least 400 sq ft
  • Bank of America HELOC rates 7/16/14

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Santa Clara, Home Buying in Santa Clara, Financing in Santa Clara  |  July 16, 2014 2:41 PM  |  74 views  |  No comments
    For a Loan-To-Value (LTV) below 70% and HELOC loan amount of $300,000 the interest rate for the HELOC would start at 3.935% before discounts.

    With the prime rate at 3.25%, this means the rate is:
     3.93% BofA HELOC rate
    -3.25% Prime Interest Rate
    =0.68% above Prime


    If you set up direct automatic payment of your monthly HELOC interest, then you get a 0.25% discount.

      3.935% HELOC rate before autopay
    - 0.250% autopay discount
    =3.685% HELOC rate after autopay
     -3.250% Prime Rate
     =0.435% above Prime

    To get even more discount, you could immediately draw $25,000 from the HELOC to get another quarter percent discount.  (You must keep that $25,000 balance on your HELOC for 3 months.)

     0.435% above Prime
     0.250% immediate draw >= $25k discount
     0.185% above Prime


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