Should You Buy Now or Wait Until Next Year?

Should you buy NOW or WAIT until next year??

Trying to make the all-important decision whether to buy a home this year or next?

Well, let’s take a peek at the variables:

  1. Freddie Mac is projecting a higher interest rate next year (4.5% vs 5.1%)
  2. Home prices will probably be higher next year (ex: $350,000 home would be $367,000 next year.

The infographic above show’s that waiting until next year could be a $70,000 mistake.

The decision is your’s, but if you’d like to get the process started….go to ChicoHome.Loans or give me a call at (530) 924-4432.

Call RJ Laffins @ (530) 924-4432
for more info
text RJ @ (530) 321-9519
Apply Now at: Chico Home Loans


VA Loan – Making Home Ownership Come True

How Veteran’s benefit from VA home loans

Lower Payments
Competitive interest rates and NO private mortgage insurance mean a lower monthly payment.

No Down Payment
The VA Home Mortgage is one of the only home loans available today with no down payment required.

Easier to Qualify
The VA Loan Program provides home ownership opportunities for millions who wouldn’t otherwise qualify for conventional financing.

First-Time Buyers
No down payment and relaxed credit standards means loans from the VA Program are especially helpful for first-time buyers.

Call RJ Laffins @ (530) 924-4432
for more info
text RJ @ (530) 321-9519
Apply Now at: Chico Home Loans

Listing Your Home Soon? Tips To Get You Started

Whether you’ve sold one home or ten homes, there are things that you need to know before listing your home for sale. The home selling process is one that could be as smooth as freshly poured blacktop or it could be one with twists, turns and speed bumps galore; but if you are being guided by the right real estate professional the process is vastly simplified.

Selling a home can be an inconvenient. It can create stress and anxiety as well as lead to thoughts of uncertainty. This doesn’t always have to be so; these feelings can be minimized with the right preparation and game plan from the beginning. Before you begin the home selling process, there are several things that you need to know before you begin. Here is a start:

Hire a great Real Estate Professional
Realtor with houseOften the most overlooked step when selling a home is the importance of hiring a REALTOR®. They are not all the same! You should have high expectations of the individual that you hire to sell one of your biggest assets! Interview many to ensure you have the one that meshes with you and your family. Answers all of your questions properly and will satisfy your needs. A Real Estate Professional that listens to your needs is often a good one.

All Information, Paperwork, and Documents on the home are crucial
Your Realtor® knows what vital information should be included in the information of the house they’re selling. What does this have to do with gathering paperwork and documents? Having information on the major mechanics of the home and also any updates that have been done to the home will be extremely helpful for a buyer to make decisions. It not just about putting up a sign and waiting for it to sell. They should know how to incorporate and compelling information about your home to attract potential buyers in addition to creatively market the home.

Examples may be:

  • Roof age & any warranty paperwork, if applicable
  • Furnace age & any instruction manuals
  • Central Air conditioning age & any instruction manuals
  • Dates of any home improvement projects, such as, kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels, window installation, carpet installation, etc.
  • Any certificate of compliance (permits) that apply, such as, deck permits, shed permits, fence permits, etc.

Choosing your launch date wisely!
Every real estate market is different. There are great times to sell and other times that may not be the most ideal. Generally speaking, the spring months are what everyone else considers the peak seasons. Real estate is situational in my opinion, meaning people don’t pick spring or summer to divorce or pass on – Life just happens.

When selling a home, it’s important that you choose to sell your home when it’s most convenient for your individual situation. Your Real Estate Professional should have his or her finger on the pulse of the market and be able to guide you through when the best time to sell may be. They look at the market holistically as well as segmentally to determine when they can list your home to maximize what you put in your pocket.

A Pre-Listing Inspection Is A Good Idea
Before putting your home on the market, it can be a good idea to have a professional home inspector perform an inspection on your home. Home inspections are standard conditions of Offer to Purchase these days. By completing this pre-listing inspection, you can address the issues that the home inspector may note during the inspection. Ensure that the home inspector you hire for the pre-listing inspection will provide you with a detailed report and also pictures relating to anything they note in their report.

Preparing Your Home for Sale. It’s important!
Image result for preparing your home for saleSelling your home means you need to work a bit as well. The Real Estate Professional you hire should be able to identify items you may need to address during a walk-through of your home. They will identify items that may need to be corrected or repaired or may suggest painting, cleaning, de-cluttering; these are just a handful of low cost preparations that can be made, prior to selling a home.

First impressions are crucial when selling a home. By not preparing your home for sale, this can often lead to a poor first impression and also can cost you thousands of dollars in the long run. It may take the extra time and effort to prepare your home, but you will totally be glad you did.

Pricing The Home is Critical from the Start
Image result for pricing your home to sellThe most important factor to whether a home sells or doesn’t, relates directly to pricing. If you price your home too high from the start, it can actually cost you money. The price a home enters the market at will do the majority of the marketing of the home. It’s important to understand today’s buyers and know they are loaded with information and data at their fingertips. Buyers often will see many homes and understand the market, which will in turn give them an idea of where your home sits in the current market. Plus, let’s face it – no one wants to pay the list price for anything.

Choosing a Realtor® because they suggest the highest price or because they offer the lowest commission can be a mistake, so it’s important to educate yourself and avoid common real estate pricing mistakes.

Preparing Your Home for Showings Can Be an Inconvenience
Image result for preparing your home for showingsWhen selling a home, you want to make your home appealing for potential buyers. What do you think the a potential buyer who walks through a home that has piles of dirty clothes on the bedroom floor or dirty pots and pans in the sink would think? Most buyers would be either distracted or disgusted, possibly leading to them not being interest in that home at all.

Preparing your home for showings can be a job in itself and an inconvenience. Making sure the clutter is minimized, pet odors are eliminated, and that the curb appeal is attractive are just a few tips that can help prepare your home for showings. It’s possible that a home that is well prepared for showings will sell before an unprepared home just because the image that it portrays to potential buyers walking through the door.

Evaluate Whether Open Houses Are Worth It Or Not
To host an open house or not to open house? Some real estate agents will swear that open houses are worth it and others will swear they are a huge waste of time. Ultimately, the decision whether they are worth it or not is yours, the homeowner. It’s true, you will most likely just be displaying your home to some nosey neighbors or people just walking by,; but it just takes the right person, perhaps the people walking by didn’t know they wanted a new home until they saw yours! Open houses is part of what I do and I have always found them to be beneficial to my clients.

The above items are worth considering before selling your home. This process may result in added stress, anxiety, and unwanted uncertainty. These feelings though will be greatly reduced if the proper preparation is taken in advance. Understanding the importance of these things and how to make the proper decisions can make the difference of your home selling experience being a disaster or a success.

Call RJ Laffins @ (530) 924-4432 for more info
Text RJ @ (530) 321-9519
Apply Now at: Chico Home Loans



Diversify Your Portfolio and Invest In Real Estate


The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute categorizes real estate as an alternative investment that includes residential and commercial properties as well as mortgage-based securities and real estate investment trusts.

For most real estate investors, these investments are characterized as income-generating properties that see revenue from rent earned and capital appreciation from the increase in market value. Since this investment vehicle depends on the net operating income (NOI), maximizing cash flow is key to a successful real estate investment.

Property Valuation
To fully understand the importance of cash flow to real estate investment, it is necessary to know that the value of the property is directly linked to the NOI. Unlike residential homes that get their value from comparable sales, income-generating real estate value is calculated as the annual NOI multiplied by an industry standard rate of return, called the capitalization rate. For instance, if the property has an annual NOI of $100,000 and a 10 percent capitalization rate, then the property would be valued at one million dollars. Since NOI is calculated after expenses and both property value and return on investment are depended on NOI, it is important to maximize income and minimize expense. .

The Risk/Return Profile
Commercial real estate increases in value based on two components. The first is capital appreciation from the increase in the surrounding market. As a neighborhood becomes nicer and properties sell at higher prices, the value of the commercial asset increases. There is very little that an investor can do to mitigate the risk of market increase or decrease. .

The other component to value is the cash flow from income. Revenue is something the property owner has a large amount of control over and which the risk and return balance can be finely tuned. To lower risk, the operating pro forma should have both estimated market rate returns and lowest logical returns. Most cities have a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 8 program in which the municipality pays a tenant’s monthly rent. Since Section 8 units are in demand, these rent amounts are a safe low-end income value for your property. The HUD website has the maximum fair market rental amounts for each county in the United States. .

REOs and Arbitrage Opportunities
Of course, getting a good deal is the foundation of any real estate investment. A low investment amount and high revenue make for a good return on investment. Bank-owned and government-owned homes often offer properties at amounts under market value. These properties are generally in disrepair, so rehabilitation costs should be factored into the price equations. .

The website Equator handles bank-owned properties, and HomePath has extensive databases of distressed properties owned by the government. A knowledgeable real estate agent with expertise in this form of alternative investment makes it easier to identify opportunities for high returns. For active investors, a real estate analysis seminar helps maximize their investment. .

Important Correlations
As an alternative investment, real estate is historically poorly correlated to the stock market, making it a good investment to diversify a portfolio. During times of stock market loss, real estate continues to offer returns. Real estate is positively correlated to inflation, meaning that it generally increases in value as inflation increases. This makes real estate a good inflation hedge.

Call RJ Laffins @ (530) 924-4432 for more info
Text RJ @ (530) 321-9519


Apply Now at: Chico Home Loans


Name Your Price, Buyers Tell Homeowners
Listing Your Home Soon? Tips To Get You


Tips for Millennials Who Want to Invest in Real Estate

There are several principles that every real estate investor should follow, no matter the route that they take—especially if they are new to investing. Here are a few ways that you can start preparing for your first real estate investment:


There are some steps that you should take before you buy your first property such as having a good credit score. Fortunately, when it comes to hard money loans, your credit score isn’t as important as it may be if you were applying for a traditional loan. Hard money lenders generally look at the value of the property and not at the borrower’s finances or credit. However, paying off all of your loans and having a solid credit score will give you an advantage.


There are plenty of ways to get financing for your real estate investment, but having proof of consistent saving will help when finding a lender. Successful investors start saving a certain amount from each paycheck that stays tucked away until their first purchase. Doing this will also teach you the value of your money and self-restraint.


Every investor has to start somewhere and you shouldn’t let your fear of failure get in your way. Failure is a part of life and it is a big part of investments. There are always risks, but if you do your research, you can help to minimize your risk and start making money. You will make mistakes, but you will learn from them.


An important aspect of investing is getting to know the right people. Meeting with real estate agents, contractors, and other investors will help you learn about the industry and you will make important contacts along the way. When it comes to real estate investing, you will want to have a solid team of people that you work with and you can start building that team before you start investing.


Getting professional advice is always a smart move when it comes to buying property. An objective inspector will help you determine if the property is worth the money and effort. There are plenty of things beneath the surface of the property that may cost more money than you think. Get an inspector to help determine how much you will need to spend on the maintenance and repairs before you buy the property. After all, investments aren’t about gut feelings, emotions or following your heart—it’s all about doing the math.


Buying, renovating and selling the house is the shortest and most exciting part of the investment. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Before you even step foot on the property you plan to buy, you need to do your research. You can start by finding your target price range and seeing what homes in that range sell, how long they take to sell and how many times the price was reduced.

Call RJ Laffins @ (530) 924-4432 for more info


Apply Now at: Chico Home Loans



Six Tips for Buying a Home if you’re Self-Employed

Six Tips for Buying a home when you're self-employed

Six Tips for Buying a Home when You’re Self-Employed

Buying a home is a daunting process for anyone. With so much fine print to read, options to consider and decisions to make, it’s no wonder we often hire somebody to help us with the process. If you’re self-employed, you might face even more challenges with loans, deductions and more.

There are many ways to side step those challenges, and some of the most commonly heard issues aren’t even true. So don’t fret just yet, use these tips to make the process of buying a home as a self-employed person easier and less stressful.

1. Don’t Fall for the FHA Loan Myth

One of the biggest misconceptions around FHA Loans is that self-employed people are not eligible for them. This is simply not true. While your small business may take some time to get off the ground and become profitable, once they become established and start providing a steady stream of revenue, they’re treated the same as any other type of income.

Poor record keeping, though, makes it hard for a self-employed person to be approved for FHA loans. The key thing to remember is that even if you know your business is profitable, your records must clearly show it.

2. Reconsider Your Deductions

Business expenses and tax deductions make most freelancers and self-employers giddy with delight around tax season. However, they also bring some drawbacks. Having a great number of business expenses decreases the income that is reported on tax returns, as these documents show income after expenses. It’s a good idea to plan accordingly and try to minimize business expenses in the year or two leading up to buying a home.

3. Separate Business and Personal Finances

Use whatever kind of record keeping or accounting system you’d like, just make sure there’s a clear line between your money and your business’ money.

4. Look for Lending Alternatives

The home loan market is slowly starting to catch up with the increase in self-employment, offering alternative loans that can be great for those who work for themselves. For instance, some specialty banks offer “alternative income verification loans.” This type of loan looks at overall cash flow rather than taxable income, which can be advantageous for small business owners.

However, these and other alternative loans often come at the cost of high fees and down payments.

5. Plan Carefully Around Taxes

Be sure to keep careful track of your taxable income, deductions, and quarterly estimated tax payments. The quarterly due dates are April, June, September and January 15th, so if you’re making a down payment around those times, be sure to account for the extra expense.

6. Have a Backup Plan

It’s never a bad idea to have an emergency fund saved up. When you’re self-employed, though, it’s almost necessary. A sizable cache of savings will help you make payments if your business takes a turn for the worse, and will show potential lenders that you’re a responsible borrower. Plus, it could help you make an even bigger down payment.

Final Thoughts

Buying a house when you’re self-employed is not impossible—it can be done if you plan ahead, know where to look for lending and file the right paperwork at the right time. Use these tips and speak with a financial adviser to make your house-buying process as exciting as it should be.

Call RJ @ (530) 924-4432 for more info or
apply now at: Chico Home Loans

Source: Realtor.Com

Student Loan Refinance Program

Student Loan Debt

Introducing the Student Loan Cash-Out Refinance Program

This Fannie Mae program is a Cost Effective alternative to use home equity to pay off student loan debt.

Program Highlights:

  • Designed to allow borrower’s to payoff student loan debt without the additional pricing hits of cash-out refi’s
  • Available with Conventional Fannie Mae FNMA loans only
  • Fixed Rate only
  • Standard FNMA cash-out refi LTV/CLTV limits do apply
  • At least One student loan must be paid off
FNMA Student Loan Refinance Program
FNMA Student Loan Refinance Program