Category Archives: Real Estate


HOW TO GET PRE-APPROVED FOR A MORTGAGE LOANIf you’ve read any tips for homebuyers then chances are you’ve heard that you need to get pre-approved for a loan about a million times. The question is – how exactly do you get the pre-approval?

Here are the steps you need to take to get pre-approved and the most important facts you need to get you there.


It’s a written statement from a lender stating that you would qualify for a particular loan under your current qualifications and the lender’s guidelines. A pre-approval letter is good for 60-90 days and the loan amount is based on your income and credit information.

A pre-approval letter is not an offer to lend, a commitment to make a loan, or a guarantee of specific rates or terms. It is however an accurate idea of how much home you can afford. And most importantly as a homebuyer, it’s proof to sellers that you have done your homework and are serious about purchasing.


Getting pre-approved and getting pre-qualified are two very different things and only the pre-approval holds much weight as a potential homebuyer. A pre-qualification does not go as depth into your finances as it does not include an analysis of your credit report. To be pre-qualified you simply give a lender an idea of your debt, income and assets (no paperwork, just your word) and a lender can discuss your potential options.


First and foremost you need to choose a mortgage lender. Keep in mind that each lender has its own standards and processes for determining whether to grant a pre-approval letter. However, in general you will have to complete an official mortgage application and supply the lender with all of your pertinent information.


  • Proof of income
  • Proof of assets
  • Proof of employment
  • A good credit score
  • Personal documentation i.e. copy of your divers license, Social Security number, and your signature on lots of paperwork!
Kevin Allen​      
Broker Associate
First Team Estates
Christie’s International Real Estate
Office: 714-481-5831

Those who say “It can’t be done,” shouldn’t interrupt those who are doing it.
First Team Real Estate is the number one family-owned, non-franchised real estate company in Orange County and all of Calif., voted Best Real Estate Company 4 years in a row by the OC Register, and has sold more homes in Southern California than any other brokerage in the last 10 years.

July 2015 – La Habra Heights, Real Estate Report

La Habra Heights Real Estate Recap: Currently average home sales in La Habra Heights is $1,182,857, 11.8 Months Supply of Inventory which was an increase of +15.7% from last July.  Also the average time on the market has increased by + 16.7% to 98 days.  One fact when digging through the numbers and checking what the homeowners success rate of selling their home in the heights is actually only 15%, that means 85% of homes are not selling during their listing contract period.  Again that goes back to the average days on market being 98 days… The best way to avoid part of the 85% of homes that do not sell is to hire a company who reinvests in marketing to make sure your home gets the exposure it needs to sell.  That means prominent newspaper advertising on saturdays and sundays, having a broker open, open houses, an open schedule for agents to bring their buyers, and as you know more and more buyers are finding homes worth visiting via the internet so hiring a company that pays to feature your home above all others on Zillow, Trulia, Realtor, Homes, and get you in front of luxury buyers via Luxury Portfolio and Christies International making your homes available to buyers all over the world.  That is why I chose to hang my hat with First Team Real Estate and we represent more buyers and sellers in Southern California than any other company.  If you have any real estate questions or need any help give me a call I’d love to help.

Kevin Allen​      

Broker Associate
First Team Estates
Christie’s International Real Estate
Office: 714-481-5831

La Habra Heights, Ca Real Estate Report July 2015



Real Estate Deal Falls ApartNothing kills your home sale buzz faster than a pitfall that brings the whole transaction tumbling down. Unfortunately it’s not uncommon for a home sale to crumble during the closing process.

There are several things that can go wrong from buyer’s remorse to buyer-financing rejections but lucky for you there are things you can do ahead of time to avoid issues before they crop up and power through them if you have to. Here are the five most common reasons home sales fall through during escrow and what you can do to save it.


Lenders have significantly tightened their standards since the housing bubble burst and while things are starting to ease, a borrowers ability to repay a loan is still intensely scrutinized. In fact, buyer-financing troubles is probably the #1 home sale killer these days.


Work with a buyer that’s preapproved. While it is still possible for a preapproved buyer to get rejected, it’s not likely. A buyer who hasn’t gone through the initial credit screening could easily be turned down based on their qualifications or the size of the loan they’re seeking. Also, a cash buyer who doesn’t need financing is a sure thing.


Once you’ve secured a buyer and decided on a price, the home must be appraised to determine if the lender is wiling to finance that particular piece of real estate for the price offered. A certified, state-licensed professional will appraise the property and if it’s lower than the offer price, there’s a problem. A buyer’s lender will only lend funds up to the value of the property so if the appraisal comes in low, then your buyer may not be able to afford the home anymore.


To avoid the problem, price your home right the first time. Work with an agent who knows the area and where values stand and be realistic about what to expect. If you’re already in the middle of your home sale, then that means it’s time to negotiate and power through it. That could mean negotiating a lower price the buyer can afford or securing a second appraisal that could come in higher for the buyer. If you can, supply the appraiser with evidence of a similar home sold at a similar price to make a case for a higher price.


It’s the buyer’s job to purchase title insurance to ensure the home is fully theirs to buy and secure a home loan. If a homeowner defaults on the loan and a faulty title reveals that the home is not actually theirs, the bank has no way of recouping the money it lent. You should be aware of any liens on the property but a title report could drudge up long forgotten, past problems. A title search will look to see that all past mortgages and liens have been paid, check pending legal actions, easements and more.


Get your own preliminary title report in advance to make sure the property is fully in your possession with no legal threat of claims. The peace of mind that your home sale will run smoothly is worth it.


Your buyer will want an inspection and most likely needs one as a part of the loan process. As a seller, you should never be waiting for problems to turn up – you should be aware of all past and present issues with your house including termites, water damage, mold and more. If your home has problems, they should be fixed before you list or disclosed to potential buyers.


To avoid any surprises during the home inspection, get one done before you list your home. If you’re already in the middle of your sale however, get ready to negotiate. If the home inspection brings up issues your buyers could ask you to lower the price or to pay for repairs before closing. You want to negotiate with the buyer before inspection issues scare them off.


It is a common buyer contingency in an offer to make the purchase of your home contingent on the sale of their own. It’s because most buyers need the equity in their current home to purchase a new one. However, as you know now, there are plenty of reasons a sale could fall through.


Target buyers who have already sold their home or who aren’t relying in their current home equity to help buy yours. This is also a good reason to choose a cash buyer; they generally have little to no contingencies in their offers. However, keep in mind that cash buyers will always offer a lower price than a financing buyer.

Kevin Allen​      
Broker Associate
First Team Estates
Christie’s International Real Estate
Office: 714-481-5831

Those who say “It can’t be done,” shouldn’t interrupt those who are doing it.
First Team Real Estate is the number one family-owned, non-franchised real estate company in Orange County and all of Calif., voted Best Real Estate Company 4 years in a row by the OC Register, and has sold more homes in Southern California than any other brokerage in the last 10 years.

June 2015 Real Estate Report

La Habra Heights, Ca Real Estate Report July 2015La Habra Heights, Ca Homes For Sale 90631June’s real estate report shows a increase of the number of homes listed for sale over the last six months over last year. In June there were (54) Homes for sale and a almost 9 month inventory. However the main take away is an increase in median sale price of $1,170,000 which is up 57% and average sales price up nearly 13% at $1,116,429 for homes in La Habra Heights 90631.  If you are thinking about moving or purchasing a new home please give me a call.  I’d love to help you sell your home for the most money possible in the shortest amount of time.

Kevin Allen​      
Broker Associate
First Team Estates
Christie’s International Real Estate
Office: 714-481-5831

Those who say “It can’t be done,” shouldn’t interrupt those who are doing it.


July 4th Photo Contest

La Habra Heights, Ca July 4th Photo Contest - Kevin Allen - First Team Real Estatela-habra-heights-july4th-11st Annual July 4th Photo Contest

Fire up your cameras & cell phones and show off your community’s patriotic spirit!

Photo concept ideas:

Scenic Shots, Family photos, Showing Your Patriotic Spirit, and Fabulous Food For The Fourth.  If it Shouts American Pride capture it and share with your neighbors.

More Idea Samples: la-habra-heights-july4th-2Rules:
Must be a resident of La Habra Heights, CA or La Habra, CA.
Must be an original photo.
Photos will be featured on
Deadline for submissions will be July 10th, 2015
Submit photos via email to:


Real Estate Bidding WarLast month I talked about bidding wars and strategies for homebuyers on how to stand out in the crowd. With low inventory in La Habra / SoCal, more and more home sales and attracting bidding wars. But what if you’re the one having to choose from all those competing offers – How do you make the decision?

Most people think highest price, right? Well, not necessarily. There are several different factors to consider when trying to pick the best available offer. Don’t just an offer by the price on the cover, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. There is no magic formula but here are the most important points to look out for:


A good closing date, little to no contingencies and a mortgage approval are all contingencies that pan out in your favor. By waiving contingencies, buyers have less wiggle room and the deal is more likely to go off without a hitch.

And if one or more of the bidders asks for a contingency to keep the deal on hold until his or her property sells, that’s an easy buyer to eliminate from consideration. You don’t want to be caught waiting for the domino to fall, because it might not. Read more

New-Home Sales Are on Track for a 7-Year High—but It’s Still Not Enough to Meet Demand

new-home-sales-census-hud-june-2015Sales of new single-family houses rose last month to an annualized rate of 546,000, theCensus Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported on Tuesday, an increase of 2% over April and the highest rate since February 2008.

Despite the fast pace of sales, the press release reported only 206,000 new houses for sale (seasonally adjusted) at the end of May—a supply of just 4.5 months. Six months is considered a healthy supply. Meanwhile, the median sale price of new houses was $282,800 in May, and the average sale price was $337,000. Those numbers were $285,600 and $323,500 respectively last May. Back then, there was a 5.1-month supply.

That’s pretty good news for buyers. “New home prices are influenced heavily by what builders build and offer,” says our chief economist, Jonathan Smoke. “The lower price is evidence that they are starting to build more affordable homes in their mix.”

Kevin Allen
First Team Estates
CHRISTIES Luxury Real Estate


4 EASY WAYS FSBOS CAN GO SOURWhen you first consider listing your home, For Sale By Owner – commonly known as FSBO – can seem like a great idea. You can save money and it’s easy enough to figure out with the wealth of knowledge available at your fingertips, right?

While we strongly believe you can do anything you put your mind to (go you), are you ready for the headaches that come along with all the responsibilities of selling your own home? There’s a lot that goes into selling a house – that’s why it’s a full time job for real estate agents.

A real estate agent spends a lot of time avoiding problems before they happen and solving them when they do. Here are just a few easy missteps and sour spots you could hit if you try it alone.


Negotiating with a prospective buyer can take weeks or even months to get all the kinks of price, add-ons, fixes, inspections and everything worked out. Plus, when you’re in charge of your own home sale it’s not just the prospective buyer you’ll be negotiating with. You’ll also be negotiating with:

  • The buyer’s agent (who will be coming to bat for their clients’ interests)
  • Home inspection companies
  • Home appraiser if there is a question of value
  • Possibly the bank in case of a short sale

How many rounds are you ready to go? If you’re not on point and ready to negotiate with each and every party during the process, then you could be loosing money, time and a bit of your sanity. Read more


WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans bought homes in May, a sign of economic strength that is pushing up average prices.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales of existing homes climbed 5.1 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million. May was the third consecutive month of the sales rate exceeding 5 million homes, putting home-buying on pace for its best year since 2007.

Solid hiring since 2014 and relatively low mortgage rates have stirred up demand and helped generate more first-time buyers, though rising sales have fueled spiking prices because relatively few properties are listed for sale.

“We can credit that to the stronger job market, a more confident consumer” and some additional listings in an otherwise tight market, said Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets. Read more

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